The King eyes up final Hunter Cup bid
By Adam Hamilton
Former winner King Of Swing sharpens up for his third and final crack at the Hunter Cup when he returns to racing at Menangle on Saturday night.
The dual Miracle Mile champ, who won the Hunter Cup two years ago and ran third to Lochinvar Art last year, hasn’t run since finishing fifth in the Inter Dominion final at Menangle back on December 12.
In his last campaign of racing before heading to stud, King Of Swing should be too classy first-up since coming from the outside draw.
His major rivals look to be three-time Queensland Horse of the Year Colt Thirty One (gate seven), the classy Zeus Bromac (four) and Inter Dominion heat winner Bundoran (nine).
But if King Of Swing is to beat the likes of Lochinvar Art, Expensive Ego, Amazing Dream and Spirit Of St Louis in Saturday week’s Hunter Cup, he needs to beat the rivals he faces first-up.
Co-trainer and driver Luke McCarthy says he’s ready to go.
“We took him into Menangle a couple of Sundays back and his work was as good as he’s done for us,” he said.
“This has been the plan all along, just the one race over 2300m into the Hunter Cup. It’s worked well for us in the past with him.
“Don’t worry, he’s very fit. He’s ready.”
King Of Swing will be the “fresh blood” in what already shapes as a superb Hunter Cup.
You would think McCarthy would drive him, although he says he won’t commit to a drive until the barrier draw.
Team McCarthy will also have Expensive Ego and Spirit Of St Louis in the Cup.
Surely young gun Jack Callaghan, who has teamed with Spirit Of St Louis to win the Bendigo, Shepparton and Ballarat Cups at his past three runs, will stick with him.
That would open the drive on Expensive Ego or possibly King Of Swing, depending on McCarthy’s choice.
Of course, David Moran drove Expensive Ego in the Inter Dominion final and last year’s Miracle Mile, but he’s got Lochinvar Art in the Hunter Cup.
Interestingly, owner Kevin Seymour said three-time Queensland Horse of the Year, Colt Thirty One, was on trial for a Hunter Cup raid when he meets King Of Swing at Menangle this week.
“We hoped sending him down to Menangle for a change of scenery and different type of racing would fire him up and it has, judging by how impressively he won that first race down there,” Seymour said.
“This is a much harder race, but he did win easily and in fast time the other week.
“If he runs really well again, then we’ll give the Hunter Cup a go.”