Swing sweats on scratching

By Adam Hamilton

WILL the huge plunge runner of the Hunter Cup even get a start in the race?

Enigmatic former NZ and WA pacer King Of Swing has been backed “off the map” from $21 into $5 with the Aussie TAB to win tomorrow night’s $500,000 Group 1 feature at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.

But he’s not in the field.

King Of Swing, now part of the powerhouse Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy barn, is first emergency. He needs a scratching by 8.30am tomorrow (Saturday) Melbourne time to gain a start.

And that looks a genuine chance with a fitness cloud over ageing Victorian star San Carlo. HRV vets inspected San Carlo on Thursday morning and found him to be “mildly lame in the off foreleg.”

They will return to check again and give their final verdict at 8am tomorrow (Saturday).

San Carlo’s trainer, Steve O’Donoghue, said San Carlo was “tender, not lame” because of a cause of greasy heel, which is effectively tinea in humans.

“He’s not lame, he’s not sore. He’s tender where the greasy heel is. I think he’s fine to run, I wouldn’t take any risk with him at all,” he said.

“But I do understand the vets take no risks at all these days and I wouldn’t say I’m confident they’ll clear him, even though I’m sure he’s fine to run.”

King Of Swing’s team have pushed ahead as though he’ll get a run.

He was floated down to Victoria along with stablemates and fellow Hunter Cup runners Bling It On, Alta Orlando and Cash N Flow this morning (Friday).

And champion WA driver Gary Hall Jr has booked a flight across from Perth to take the reins.

“You don’t wish any bad luck on anyone else, but gee this horse (King Of Swing) will give the race a mighty shake if he gets a run. I think he’ll be the horse to beat from that draw,” McCarthy said.

“Put it this way, the way the marbles have fallen, he’s the pick of our four. That said, they’re all flying at the right time, but King Of Swing and Alta Orlando have the draws and that’s a huge edge.

 “If King Of Swing doesn’t get in, then Alta Orlando would probably be our best hope because he’ll certainly hold the lead early and then Todd (McCarthy, driver) will have all the options.”

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