By Adam Hamilton
For a horse who won a Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile in a space of a few weeks, somehow King Of Swing remains underrated.
What the former NZ and WA pacer did in just a couple of months with Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy was nothing short of amazing, but all the recent talks has been about Ride High, Lochinvar Art and Self Assured.
But now King Of Swing is back … bigger and better.
At least that’s the opinion of McCarthy, who will take the reins from the outside draw over a mile at Menangle when King Of Swing returns to racing on Saturday night.
Don’t be fazed by the fact King Of Swing hasn’t raced since his Miracle Mile win in early March, he’s ready to rock.
“He’s very forward. He’s been pretty much ready to go for a few weeks now, but we’ve been keeping our horses like Alta Orlando and Cash N Flow apart, so this was the race we picked out for King,” McCarthy said.
“We’ve got the benefit of a strong batch of open-class horses in the stable to work him with. He’s as ready as you can have a horse first-up.
“It’s never easy from the outside, but he’s the got gate speed to put himself into it.”
McCarthy said fans would see a physically bigger King Of Swing this time in work.
“It’s muscle, not fat. He’s really filled out. He’s a beast to look at now,” he said.
“We’re really excited with how he’s come back. I think he’s got better.”
King Of Swing look a class above his rivals, but they do include the classy and in-form Ignatius (gate seven) as well as the much-improved and race fit Replaced Eye (10).
McCarthy said the biggest challenge was working out how to shape King Of Swing’s campaign.
“I don’t think the Victoria Cup will go ahead (on October 10). I think they’ll push it back with the (COVID) issues down there,” he said.
“If that’s put back, then it’s not until the Blacks A Fake at Albion Park in mid-December we’ve got a serious race to set him for.
“There’s the big races in Perth (November/December), but he won’t go there. Alta Orlando will be our horse for Perth.
“King Of Swing and Bling It On will be our Blacks A Fake horses.”
Bling It On, who won last year’s Victoria Cup, is not far off a racetrack return as well.
“He’s a bit behind King, so it might be a month or so before he races, but he’s come back well. The signs are good,” McCarthy said.
“He’ll still do his stud duties and mix it with racing. We collected with him the Friday before he won the Victoria Cup the following night last year.
“This will be his last campaign racing.”
McCarthy said Alta Orlando would fly the stable flag on Saturday week for his third run this campaign then King Of Swing would run the week after again.
“Alta’s been beaten but runs, but really pleased us. He wasn’t suited sitting the parked the other night, it’s not his go, but he ran a great race. He’s most lethal camped off them,” he said.
Cash N Flow, who ran a personal best 1min49.2sec winning his ninth consecutive Menangle mile free-for-all last Saturday, will have three weeks between that and his next run.
“He loves his runs spaced two or three weeks. We’ve really found the key to him,” McCarthy said.
“I think he’s still getting better. He jogged 1min49.2sec the other night in the middle of winter. I could’ve gone a second quicker in the middle and he’d still have won as easily. That’s remarkable this time of year.”