By Adam Hamilton
LAST-START Ballarat Cup winner AG’s White Socks heads four Kiwi runners in Saturday night’s $500,000 Group 1 Hunter Cup (2760m) at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
The other Kiwis make the cut in the stellar field are: Chase Auckland, Triple Eight and Mach Shard.
The barrier draw for the Hunter Cup and Group 1 Great Southern Star are being conducted at 10.45pm (NZ time) at a Caduceus Club function at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
As expected, emerging star Lochinvar Art adds some real X-factor to the Cup after his blazing Group 1 4YO Bonanza at Melton last Saturday night.
“Bugger it, we’ve got nothing to lose,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said. “He’s off his head at the moment and the world is his oyster. He doesn’t have to be driven tough if the draw doesn’t go his way, but if he’s anywhere thereabouts he will be extremely dangerous. They’ll want to be on their game.”
NSW trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray decided to stay home and focus on the Miracle Mile with Ignatius, but it still wasn’t enough for last Saturday night’s sparkling 1min48.8sec Menangle winner, King Of Swing, to make the field. He’s first emergency.
King Of Swing’s co-trainers Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy still have three Hunter Cup runners with Bling It On, Alta Orlando and Cash N Flow.
McCarthy will drive Bling It On, while his brother, Todd, will have the pick of Alta Orlando and Cash N Flow after the draws. WA star Gary Hall Jr is on standby in case King Of Swing gains a start.
Kiwi pair AG’s White Socks and Chase Auckland share pre-draw favouritism at $3.50 on the Aussie TAB.
HUNTER CUP FIELD (pre-draw): Bling It On, Lochinvar Art, Chase Auckland, AG’s White Socks, Alta Orlando, Code Bailey, Triple Eight, Mach Shard, Our Uncle Sam, Cash N Flow, My Kiwi Mate, San Carlo, King Of Swing (emergency).