Top driver Luke McCarthy will chase Group 1 glory in the Australian Pacing Gold Final at Melton tonight with Expensive Ego. Photo by Club Menangle
THE young guns will steer the ship at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight with Sydney’s leading reinsman Luke McCarthy on a hit-and-run trip to Victoria to chase one of their feature races.
Trainer Belinda McCarthy will still have a big team contesting several Menangle features and there’s one in particular that her husband Luke admits he’d love to be aboard.
While Luke will be hoping to capture the $210,000 Australian Pacing Gold four-year-old entires and geldings final with Expensive Ego at Melton, another of their potential stars, Ilikemebettor will have the services of young Jack Callaghan as he tries to annex the $50,000 APG Consolation at Menangle just 45 minutes earlier.
Callaghan, along with Ashley Hart and experienced Victorians Chris Alford and John Caldow, will handle the McCarthy runners at Menangle and Luke admits he has full confidence they will be able to get the job done.
“Ilikemebettor is a really nice progressive type of horse and I think he’s likely to get a good trip,” said Luke.
Ilikemebettor finished third to Expensive Ego and Jay OK in the APG qualifier at Menangle on April 20 and the lightly-raced Bettors Delight stallion has drawn gate seven but should come into six for tonight’s race after the emergencies are withdrawn.
Meanwhile, McCarthy reports that Expensive Ego could not be better, and the Miracle Mile runner-up had the perfect draw to account for his rivals in the Group 1 Melton feature.
“Not many horses can sit outside of King Of Swing and still be coming in the straight, which is what he did in the Miracle Mile,” said Luke.
“We gave him a freshen-up after that run and he could not have been more impressive when he came out and went 1:48.6 first-up.
“It’s a good race with horses like Mach Dan in really good form but we have turned the page on Expensive Ego’s last run at Melton because he got knocked over and raced without luck.
“I expect him to be a much different proposition this time around.”
McCarthy also took stablemate Star Galleria to Melton as a travelling companion for Expensive Ego and despite drawing the outside of the second row in the TAB Golden Reign Free-For-All, expects the last-start Menangle winner to give a good account of himself.
“The free-for-alls in Sydney are pretty strong and he ran a good time last start so he should go well again,” said the champion reinsman.