CHAMPION reinsman Luke McCarthy has been driving in great form in recent weeks – the only problem with that is, barely anyone has noticed.
Luke has been forced to take a back seat to little brother Todd, who has been running rampant, winning the Victoria Cup, Inter Dominions and now the Hunter Cup, thanks to the all-conquering run of Kevin Pizzuto’s champion pacer Tiger Tara.
Todd is back in action at Tabcorp Park Menangle today and is in such great touch he’ll probably land a winner or two just for fun.
Yet Luke has the chance to get a bit of his own back with a couple of handy drives which could thrust him back into the spotlight.
Luke will partner Michael Doltoff’s ace trotter War Dan Destroyer in Race 5, with the consistent gelding installed a $2 favourite to win his 19th race from just 51 starts.
War Dan Destroyer rated a slick 1:53.8 in scoring at Menangle three weeks ago and although drawn the outside of the front line in a big field of trotters, is expected to be too good for a talented field of T5 or better squaregaiters.
Luke then gets his chance to shine with the pacers when he partners $2.50 favourite Darkershadeofpale for Craig Cross in Race 6.
Listed as a $2.50 favourite, Luke will again have his skills tested as the last-start Albion Park winner is also drawn the outside of the front line, suggesting Luke might try and rev up the daughter of Changeover and spear across and find the front before the first turn comes up.
Meanwhile Todd also has several top prospects at Menangle today, including Culley Backy ($3.75) in Race 2, Kyvalley Boomerang ($21) in Race 5 and Lets Go To Brazil ($3.50) in Race 8.
Certainly he will be the toast of Menangle as he returns after Saturday night’s A. G. Hunter Cup win, regarded by many as one of the most impressive of Tiger’s Tara’s many big-race successes so far.
The former Kiwi pacer will be set for a crack at the Miracle Mile next month, along with stablemate Majordan, who was narrowly beaten at Menangle on Saturday night.
“I can’t say enough about this horse,” said Pizzuto after Tiger Tara slashed seven-tenths of a second off the Melton track record, rating 1:53.2 over the 2760m journey.
“He goes out and gives his all every time he races . . . I just love him.”
Tiger Tara became only the second horse, joining WA champion Preux Chevalier (1984-85) as the winner of Victoria’s three biggest harness races of the season.