IT’S almost inevitable that any feature night at Tabcorp Park Menangle sees a major trophy head back to Luke and Belinda McCarthy’s Cobbitty Lodge stables.
Grand old veteran Alta Orlando managed to fly the flag during last weekend’s meeting, even though it was washed out with three races, including the Miracle Mile, still to be run.
And the 10-year-old might repeat his effort tonight as team McCarthy line up for another bumper night at the premier south-western Sydney track.
Still, that’s an earlier race and he’ll be playing second fiddle to the $1m Garrards Miracle Mile.
Staff at Club Menangle have worked overtime this week to get the track back to A1 order for tonight’s meeting with King Of Swing poised to make history, with stablemate Spirit Of St Louis regarded as his main danger.
Five trials at Menangle on Thursday morning confirmed the track was back to its best for the big feature.
Retirement beckons the now seven-year-old King Of Swing and a third Miracle Mile would certainly be the perfect opportunity to call time on his stellar career.
This remarkable pacer looked almost asleep as he waited in his stall last weekend as the Heavens opened, water rushed everywhere and the meeting had to be called off when the track became unsafe for racing.
Yet ace reinsman Luke McCarthy maintained the week-long delay would not affect his champion’s chances tonight.
“It’s not ideal for the race after the terrific build-up, but as far as the horses go, well, we just get back to working them and prepare for next Saturday,” he said.
McCarthy left his three Miracle Mile hopes in the retention barn at Menangle that night and gave all three a workout on Sunday morning at the track.
He even gave Victorian Aaron Dunn and his stable star Bondi Lockdown the opportunity to work alongside them.
“I worked with Expensive Ego and Mach Dan was with us, too,” said Dunn.
“We didn’t do too much and sat out pretty wide on the track, but it was good to get some work into him.”
King Of Swing also worked alongside stablemate Spirit Of St Louis.
Team McCarthy will be out to win several of the minor races tonight too with Artillery (Race 2), Alta Orlando, Cash N Flow and Mighty Looee (Race 5) and I Need You Now and The Honey Queen (Race 7) all strongly favoured to add to what should be an historic night.
Whether it is racing – Standardbreds or Thoroughbreds – rehabilitation, agistment or breeding, Cobbitty Equine Farm’s location, facilities and operations ensure the horses welfare and development are paramount.