CHAMPION pacer King Of Swing’s quest for history could be his farewell race.
Driver Luke McCarthy and senior part-owner Glen Moore both admitted a win in Saturday night’s $1 million Miracle Mile at Menangle would be a “fairytale” way to go out.
“Put it this way, we know he’s retiring soon and we all agreed we’d just focus on trying to win the Miracle Mile then make the other decisions after that,” McCarthy said.
“It’s up to the owners, but if they think he’s done enough after Saturday, then it could be his last race.”
Moore said the ownership group just this week turned down a lucrative offer to tackle a string of races in NZ after the Miracle Mile.
“It was nice to be offered a spot in their new slot race and there’s the Auckland Cup over there as well in a few weeks, but we politely declined,” he said.
“Winning the Hunter Cup again, which he did last month, and the Miracle Mile have been the big targets. We’re not thinking beyond Saturday night.
“People ask about the Queensland Winter Carnival, but it’s not until the middle of the year and it means spelling him and bringing him back again.
“If he could become the first horse to win three Miracle Miles on Saturday night, it would be a pretty amazing way to go out, but we haven’t made any decisions yet.”
It all seems to be falling into place for King Of Swing’s shot at history.
Fresh from a career-best and fastest qualifying sprint win at Menangle last Saturday night, the powerhouse seven-year-old snared gate one in last night’s (Monday) barrier draw.
“Two starts ago he drew one and led easily in the Hunter Cup. I’m very confident he’ll be able to hold them out and lead on Saturday,” McCarthy said.
And his record says that makes him almost unbeatable. King Of Swing has led 37 times in his career and won 33 of them, including the past two Miracle Miles and his two Hunter Cups.
“The draw was more about where ‘King’ drew compared to Bondi Lockdown and it’s gone in our favour. If Bondi Lockdown had drawn inside us, he’s a tough and exciting horse and he would’ve given a real challenge to get past,” McCarthy said.
Sadly, for Bondi Lockdown’s Horsham trainer-driver Aaron Dunn, he will start from the second outside gate (barrier seven).
“Being out wide is bad enough, but it’s even worse with King Of Swing drawing the pole,” sighed Dunn.
“Still, he ran a mighty race from a wide draw in the Chariots Of Fire which got him into this race. You know he’s tough and he’ll give his all. We’re not out of it, but it’ll be very hard from that draw.”
King Of Swing’s emerging stablemate Spirit Of St Louis now looms as his biggest danger from barrier two with young gun driver Jack Callaghan aboard.
“I’d say he’s the biggest threat now,” McCarthy said. “He just keeps stepping-up and he’s got that turn of speed to be dangerous. Jack (Callaghan) keeps putting him in the right spot, too.”
McCarthy also warned not to discount he and wife Belinda’s stable third-stringer Expensive Ego (gate six), who ran second to King Of Swing in last year’s Mile.
“He’s not quite at his dominant best he was during the Inter Dominion back in December, but he was a lot better last week and he can turn his form around quickly. If he comes on again from last week, I’m sure he’ll run well,” he said.
MIRACLE MILE BARRIER DRAW (all off the front row): King Of Swing, Spirit Of St Louis, Majestic Cruiser, Bundoran, Mach Dan, Expensive Ego, Jay OK (1st emerg), Like A Wildfire (2nd emerg), Bondi Lockdown, Better Eclipse.
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