Weight of expectation on McCarthy’s shining star
TRAINER Terry McCarthy thinks Star Of Harada is going as well as ever and the horse even surprised him with an excellent first-up win on the Gold Coast a fortnight ago.
Star Of Harada lines up in a Benchmark 66 Handicap (1000m) and has won second-up but has to lug 62kg with Glen Colless up.
He’s a real winner, having saluted the judge four times in seven starts.
“He’s got to be a good chance but he has a big weight,’’ McCarthy said. “Glen will ride him though and he loves the weight.
“He’s galloped well since that first-up win. He’s got a lot of upside and will handle the heavy track.
“He beat a couple of smart horses the other day and they were both very fit whereas he was resuming from a spell and I didn’t expect him to win as well as he did. He’ll come on from that win.”
Stellar Jewel is McCarthy’s other top hope, in a Class 2 Handicap (1900m), and she comes off two seconds at Grafton in the same grade over 1700m.
McCarthy is happy to put her up in trip after two very narrow losses.
“She’s been very unlucky in her runs. She’s just one of those mares that keeps running second,” he said. “She jumps well and has a nice gate in this race and the claim helps her. Young Leah (Kilner) is riding well and she’ll put her up on the pace. I think she’ll be very y hard to beat.
“The 1900m probably isn’t her favourite trip but she’s raced well enough to go there. It just looks suitable now with a nice weight.”
Blue Monte is McCarthy’s other runner, in the last race of the day over 1600m. He has a wide gate but gets in on the minimum weight with Kilner on board.
“He’s struggled with bad draws,’’ McCarthy said. “We’ve had him up in trip and now freshened him. His run the other day wasn’t too bad, though.”