Day At The Track

Luke ready for the call

04:40 PM 19 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Champion reinsman Luke McCarthy has a full book of drives at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight, Harness racing
Champion reinsman Luke McCarthy
Kate Butt photo

CHAMPION reinsman Luke McCarthy’s phone has been running hot since he and King Of Swing combined to win the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in Queensland last weekend.

Yet not all those calls have been to give Luke a pat on the back.

At least four of those have been to offer him “outside” drives on his return to Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight.

McCarthy, with an incredible 227 winners in New South Wales alone in this extended season, will head for the south-western Sydney circuit for a full book of drives yet, amazingly, has four drives for outside stables.

That still leaves four drives for the Craig Cross stable, where he is their No. 1 driver, and among those is the incredible track specialist Cash N Flow, who will chase his 14th win in a row at Menangle with his defeat in the Victoria Cup at Melton the only black spot on his ‘picket fence’ of wins.

And while McCarthy has a high opinion of Cash N Flow, he rates him as a rung or two below the Cross stable champion King Of Swing.

“But only one step below the King,” says McCarthy.

“He’s still a step above a lot of others and he’s done an amazing job this horse.”

McCarthy rated Wrangler as the best of his other drives for Cross.

“I thought Wrangler looked well placed and he’s been running some great races and gets a big drop back this week and I thought he would really run well,” said McCarthy.

His other drives tonight include Birdy Mach, the $5 favourite in Race 1.

McCarthy had a great association with this horse when Cross was still training him last year and has won at least 15 races aboard the gelded son of Mach Three.

His current trainer Michael Xuereb had no hesitation grabbing McCarthy to resume that association tonight.

Luke will also be aboard Modern Attitude ($9) for Simon Locke in Race 3 and last-start winner Zoemagic ($10) for Brendan James in Race 4.

Even the in-form stables of Joe and Mary Rando have snapped up Luke to drive top trotter Kowhai Monarch in Race 7.

One of four Rando runners in the race, Kowhai Monarch will need to be at his best to hold off the two local trotting stars Tough Monarch ($1.50) and Drop The Hammer ($9) in what should be one of the night’s highlights.



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