Day At The Track

King swings into favouritism

04:36 AM 01 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Alta Orlando scores at Menangle tonight.
Alta Orlando scores at Menangle tonight.
Club Menangle

He ran his rivals ragged in winning tonight's $100,000 Allied Express Sprint at Menangle.

Now the Craig Cross-trained King Of Swing is ready to assume favouritism for next week's $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle.

To be driven by champion reinsman Luke McCarthy, King Of Swing drew the ideal gate four and may come into three when second emergency Sicario is withdrawn before the big race.

King Of Swing has shown stunning gate speed at his recent starts and the former West Australian has thrived since linking with the Cross stable and looks likely to chase an all-the-way win.

Former winner My Field Marshall and his trainer Tim Butt will also be feeling on top of the world after the 2018 winner draw gate two, giving his reinsman Anthony Butt plenty of options and likely to take a trail after he attempted to lead all the way and was edged out by Craig Cross's other hope, Alta Orlando in the Schweppes Sprint.

The final field, in barrier order is:

1. A Gs WHITE SOX 

2. MY FIELD MARSHAL 

3. SICARIO (2ND em) 

4. KING OF SWING 

5. CODE BAILEY

6. BETTORS HEART

7. THE BLACK PRINCE (1ST em)

8. ALTA ORLANDO

9. LOCHINVAR ART

10. MAJORDAN

Earlier slick times were the order of the night and earlier the Allied Express and Schweppes Sprints did not disappoint with fantastic wins by two of Craig Cross' Miracle Mile hopes in King Of Swing and Alta Orlando.

The McCarthy brothers, Luke and Todd, did their jobs as they surged into serious Miracle Mile calculation with impressive wins.

King Of Swing was taken straight to the front by Luke and ran his rivals off their legs, rating a slashing 1:49.6 in beating Code Bailey and A Gs White Sox by two metre in the $100,000 Allied Express Sprint.

The first two home joined Newcastle Mile winner Majordan and Chariots Of Fire star Lochinvar Art in securing invitations to the "Big Dance", the $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile next Saturday night.

The Black Prince also caught the eye, making up many lengths in the straight to finish fourth after settling back near last. That was enough to earn him a reserve spot for the big race.

The $100,000 Schweppes Sprint was run a bit differently, with former MM winner My Field Marshal taking advantage of his ideal draw in one to hold the lead for Anthony Butt, despite an early challenge from Alta Orlando from gate five.

The race worked out perfectly for Todd McCarthy and Alta Orlando as he was able to duck in behind My Field Marshal and secure a great run into the race.

Turning for home Our Uncle Sam, who raced without cover, was tending to drop out of contention, giving Alta Orlando the perfect opportunity to jump off the pegs and score an easy 4.2m win over My Field Marshal with the surprise of the race, Sicario, looming into third, one and a half metres further back, just ahead of the perennially unlucky Hail Christian.

The winner rated an even 1:50, although runner-up Anthony Butt would have been quite content in the knowledge he had qualified for another crack at a Miracle Mile with the fastest horse ever to win the race, the 2018 winner My Field Marshal.

The $200,000 Boden Projects Ladyship Mile was another highlight of the big night when Kiwi mare Bettors Heart (John Dunn) dived on the line to score the narrowest of wins over Bettor Enforce, robbing Luke McCarthy of his second Group One of the night. Our Princess Tiffany came from well back to grab third, just in front of Belle Of Montana.

A scintillating mile rate of 1:49.7 hurtled Bettors Heart into contention for the Miracle Mile and gave Kiwi reinsman John Dunn, the brother of another champion reinsman, Dexter Dunn, his biggest win outside of New Zealand.

Trainer Peter Bagrie has been stabled with Shane and Lauren Tritton for the past week and gave the champion pair much of the credit for their mighty win.

"Shane has been a terrific help to me this week in getting this mare ready to run the race of her life. We weren't certain she had got there but she has done a great job for us both in New Zealand and here and she didn't let us down," said Bagrie.

 

Club Menangle

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