Champion reinsman Luke McCarthy will drive Expensive Ego at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight.
FEW reinsman, if any, drive Tabcorp Park Menangle better then champion reinsman Luke McCarthy.
And on the rare occasions he does not have a drive for his trainer/wife Belinda, rival trainers are queuing up to secure his services.
Luke will partner arguably Australia’s best pacer tonight when he takes the steer on former Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile runner-up Expensive Ego ($1.40) in Race 6 over 1609m at Menangle.
It should be an easy ‘kill’ for Expensive Ego after Belinda and Luke decided to dodge tonight’s $150,000 Group 1 Ballarat Cup against an all-star field that included the likes of Rock N Roll Doo, Copy That, Honolua Bay, Majestic Cruiser and Major Meister.
The A. G. Hunter Cup in two weeks’ time is still on the radar for Expensive Ego and stablemate Spirit Of St Louis, but Luke explained Expensive Ego was much happier contesting mile racing on his home track, when possible and the Miracle Mile was his main target in early March.
McCarthy will have a busy night as he will also drive Cantfindabettorman ($2.25) for his stable in Race 4 and has also been snapped up by Joe Conolly to drive Spirit Of Anzac ($2.50) in Race 1.
All three will start favourites but another Luke drive will have some significance in Race 5 when he partners Threebushelsofoats for Hunter Valley trainer Aaron Goadsby in tonight’s feature, the $50,000 Group 2 J. L. Raith Memorial for three-year-old fillies.
A hat-trick of recent wins at Newcastle and Maitland has prompted Goadsby to change plans and aim a bit higher with this daughter of champion sire Art Major.
Goadsby is keen to see how Threebushelsofoats handles Menangle in just her second run at the premier track in a 13-start career.
Should she perform up to expectations, she will be set for heats of the NSW Oaks on February 18.
“She's no superstar but she’s a nice honest filly,” said Goadsby.
“A month ago I hadn't given the Oaks a thought but given the way she's raced to win her last three starts I figured I may as well have a look.
“The Raith Memorial is a throw at the stamps to see where she is at and whether it is worth pushing on for the Oaks heats.
“She has a bit of gate speed, great manners, a good attitude and tries her backside off, which is her best attribute.”