Day At The Track

Stars still stranded in Victoria

08:30 AM 10 Jan 2020 NZDT
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My Field Marshall,Harness racing
My Field Marshall
Scott Hamilton Photo

IT is looking likely the two stars of tomorrow’s (Friday) Group 1 Fremantle Cup won’t make the race.

NSW-trained pair My Field Marshal, the defending champion, and in-form Alta Orlando are still stranded in Victoria.

A string of planned flights have been scrapped and the last hope is a midnight flight tonight (Thursday) from Melbourne to Perth, but that’s far from a lock.

“I’m told it’s 50/50, but I think that’s even being optimistic,” Alta Orlando’s co-trainer and driver Luke McCarthy said. “They were supposed to go across Monday and they’re still here. I think it’s had something to do with the smoke and the fires.”

Both McCarthy and My Field Marshal’s trainer Tim Butt aren’t fussed by such a late flight, if it eventuates.

But, if they don’t get across tonight, it’s likely only My Field Marshal will still go to Perth for next week’s Group 1 WA Pacing Cup.

“Tim’s still going if we don’t get to the Freo Cup, but I’m leaning towards staying here and taking him (Alta Orlando) to the Ballarat Cup on his way to the Hunter Cup,” McCarthy said.

“The problem is if we nominated for the WA Cup and don’t get there for some reason, we can’t run at Ballarat instead. We have to make a choice.”

Making matters worse is good barriers for the star pair has them heading the market. My Field Marshal is $2.80 favourite from gate four with Alta Orlando at $4.40 second elect from gate five.

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VICTORIA Cup winner Bling It On is back on song after his failed Auckland Inter Dominion raid.

Luke McCarthy said his stable star worked superbly in a private hitout at Menangle during the week.

“He’s flying and could’ve run at Menangle this weekend, but I’ll take him to the Goulburn Cup (Sunday week) instead because it’s a random draw,” he said. “It’s then two week’s from that straight into the Hunter Cup.”

McCarthy said he could have as many as three Hunter Cup runners.

“Bling and Alta (Orlando) are headed there and if King Of Swing wins well for us at his first run for us (Menangle, Saturday night), then we’d consider taking him down as well,” he said.

“Cash N Flow is another good enough, but the 2760m doesn’t suit him as well, so we’ll keep him at home for the mile racing at Menangle.”

 

Adam Hamilton

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