McCarthy's Victoria Cup assault
By Adam Hamilton
LUKE McCarthy will stick with driving comeback star Bling It On in the Victoria Cup despite the mesmerizing win of Cash N Flow at Melton last night (Saturday).
Trainer Craig Cross will have three, maybe even four runners in the Group 2 Victoria Cup.
Cash N Flow booked his spot in the feature with a career-best and totally dominant win in last night’s $50,000 Group 2
The former All Stars’ pacer, who has been with Cross for just over 14 months, was first-up from a break, but blasted out of gate two to work to the lead in a quick 6.7sec lead time and 27.8sec opening quarter.
Despite running his first half in 55.2sec, Casn N Flow just kept rolling and booted away with a big lead rounding the final bend to win seemingly with something in reserve by nine metres.
He ran the 1720m in a scorching 1min50.8sec, just 0.1sec outside Cruz Bromac’s track record.
“I wish I’d shaken him up, he’s have a broken the record for sure,” McCarthy said. “I had a look over at the board and realised too late we were going to go 1min50sec.”
McCarthy explained Cash N Flow “has his niggles” and isn’t the easiest horse to train.
“But he’s come back better than we’ve ever had him. We’ve been so happy with him at home. I was really confident tonight. I felt if he could lead and he’d win if he did,” he said.
“He’s a great sprinter so the distance suits. He needed to go out and do something like for me us to run him in the Victoria Cup. He’s earned a crack now for sure.
Cash N Flow will join Bling It On, recent Kiwi import Alta Orlando and possibly the improving Cruz as Cross’ Victoria Cup runners.
“Those first three will get a run. We hope Cruz makes the cut as well after his good Kilmore Cup, but it’ll be touch and go I guess,” McCarthy said.
Cruz’s latest run was a solid fifth in the Group 2 Kilmore Cup won by San Carlo last Thursday week.
McCarthy said Bling It On deserved to be the stable top seed because of his history on big races, but quickly added Alta Orlando and Cash N Flow would be very competitive.
“I just think getting out to the 2240m and rising in class, Bling It On is the best of ours. And of course I’ll be driving him. Todd (McCarthy) will get pick of the rest and will sort out whatever other drivers we need after the barrier draw,” he said.
“Bling It On has come through that first-up win so well. We just couldn’t be any happier with him and it’ll make him fitter again for this race.
“But Alta Orlando looks like he’s going to be a really nice horse for us. He’s coming along so well. I think he’s a great chance this week if he gets a good draw.”
Cash N Flow’s win capped a big night at Melton for Cross and McCarthy, who took the emerging Wrangler and Cullenburn down from Sydney to win.
“They were both well suited dropping back from free-for-all grade at Menangle to their own class at Melton and won well,” he said.
“We’ll be doing more of that. You’ll see us popping down to Melton quite often given the sorts of horses we’ve got in the stable to avoid having to race against ourselves at Menangle.”