Bling buzzing towards Auckland
By Adam Hamilton
CHAMPION Aussie horseman Luke McCarthy didn’t see anything to be scared of at Addington this week.
In fact, if anything, his confidence of giving the Auckland Inter Dominion a huge shake with comeback star Bling It On has grown after watching the NZ Cup and NZ free-for-all.
“There’s no standout. It’s certainly not as tough a school as it was when the likes of Lazarus, Lennytheshark and Smolda were around,” McCarthy said. “I watched the Cup and felt Bling It On was certainly as good as any of them and the free-for-all didn’t change anything.”
Bling It On has deliberately been kept away from the races since his stunning Group 1 Victoria Cup win at Melton on October 12. It came at just his second run on the comeback trail.
But McCarthy has him screwed right down and ready for Auckland.
“He had a couple of quiet weeks after the Victoria Cup because he’d been in work for six months in his comeback, but he’s very fit again now,” he said.
“He’s had plenty of work at home and two trips into Menangle where I’ve worked him the Auckland direction with a galloping pacemaker.
“He zipped home a 26sec quarter in a race cart this week (Thursday) and I’ll get even more serious with him to top him right off when we go back again next Thursday.”
Bling It On is booked on a flight Monday week from Sydney to Auckland.
“As I’ve said all along, I really do think he’s come back better than ever,” McCarthy said.
“People have him down as just this sit-sprint horse, but he’s more than that, especially now. He’s versatile and can do some work. Put it this way, if I drew to lead, I certainly wouldn’t be afraid to hold it.
“People forget when he won that Hunter Cup he was out wide for a while and did a fair bit of work before I took a trail and he still finished the race of really well.
“And I’m sure he’s come back an even better horse this time in.”