King Of Swing may be Australia’s best pacer but champion driver Luke McCarthy thinks his stablemate Expensive Ego may already be as good as him ahead of Saturday night’s Group 1 The Rising Sun at Albion Park.
With a tricky back-row draw (gate nine), the rising star will have to be every bit as good as McCarthy hopes if he is to take out the inaugural running of the $250,000 feature with key rival Krug drawing sweetly with gate one.
While Expensive Ego is a $2.70 favourite with TAB, punters will know what he is made of post-race with The Rising Sun attracting three of New Zealand’s best pacers in Krug, Copy That and Amazing Dream – along with a terrific support cast, headed by the emerging Spirit Of St Louis, Kowalski Analysis and Bundoran.
“On sheer ability I think he’s right there with King Of Swing,” McCarthy said.
“After he won the Chariots Of Fire, he did plenty of work and still ran a fantastic second to King Of Swing in the Miracle Mile.
“I think he’s better now than he was then, just through experience and natural improvement.”
Expensive Ego has a tricky draw to overcome.Source:Supplied
Expensive Ego – who boasts 16 career wins in just 21 starts – comes out of a gut-busting victory just last week where he started a prohibitive odds-on favourite.
Some may baulk at backing up seven days later, but McCarthy believes the talented four-year-old will lap it up.
“No, that’s a plus with him. I’m glad he had it, he needed it. A hard run like that has topped him off nicely. He absolutely thrives on hard racing. He’ll make a great Inter Dominion horse (where they race four times in two weeks),” he said.
Even with more than half a million dollars in stakes money in the bank, McCarthy says The Rising Sun will be no lay up for Expensive Ego.
Racing Queensland officials went to great lengths to bolster their winter harness carnival and it appears to have paid off with seven of the 13 entries rated under $21 with TAB.
“I think we’ve got the right horse and he’s primed for it. Racing Queensland set out to create a special race and they’ve got it. It’s so strong,” McCarthy said.
“Expensive Ego is one of the big three, Krug and Copy That are the others. I’ll be surprised if one of them doesn’t win to be honest.
“Krug’s got the advantage of the draw, but I’ve got to hope there’s some pressure early and he’s not able to lead and get an easy time for the first bit.”
If Expensive Ego comes through The Rising Sun well, he is set to lock horns with King Of Swing in the Blacks A Fake in a fortnight.
Originally published asDriver rates Ego equal of pace King
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