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Surprise booking for McCarthy

August 15, 2013 16:56:51 UK

Veteran reinsman John McCarthy has received a surprise booking to drive pole marker Bling It On in the Australasian Breeders' Crown $302,000 Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings' Final (2240m) at Melton on Sunday.

It was anticipated McCarthy's son Luke would drive nominal favourite Bling It On in the Group 1 race. But McCarthy Jr is listed as the driver of stablemate Lettucerockthem, who drew gate five. Luke's wife Belinda McCarthy trains Bling It On and Lettucerockthem.

Bling It On has been driven by Luke McCarthy to wins at Menangle (twice), Bankstown, the Gold Coast, Albion Park and Ballarat. The colt was a front-running winner for him in a Breeders' Crown semi-final (2200m) at Ballarat last Saturday.

John McCarthy drove Bling It On last month, when he won by 11 metres over 1609 metres at Menangle.

Lettucerockthem has won six of his seven races when driven by McCarthy Jr. He had to come from a back line draw when he was driven by Luke and ran second to Our Major Sky in a Breeders' Crown semi-final (2200m) at Ballarat last Saturday.

The horse has a minor kidney infection and his return will be delayed by three weeks.

Andrew De Campo

Meantime, class pacer Has The Answers could hold a winning edge over Sneakyn Down Under for the second time within a week when they are re-matched in Friday's Howard Porter Memorial (2130m) at Perth track Gloucester Park.

The scene was set for a return duel between Has The Answers and Sneakyn Down Under when trainer Andrew De Campo scratched Porter Memorial nominal favourite Lombo Navigator on Wednesday.

Has The Answers stormed home from sixth at the bell in last Friday's McManus Pace (1730m) and won by a metre from front runner Sneakyn Down Under.

Trainer-reinsman Darren Duffy is expected to lead again on Thursday night with Sneakyn Down Under, who will be pursuing his third Porter Memorial win. He won the race in 2009 and repeated the feat last year.

The Tony Svilicich-trained Has The Answers is one of the most prolific winners in WA pacing history. He has won 75 races, including 63 at Gloucester Park.

Lombo Navigator, who was to have resumed on Friday night, has an impressive first-up wins tally and punters were expected to back him solidly.

"The horse has a minor kidney infection and his return will be delayed by three weeks," De Campo said. "Adda Paternal Suit, also back from a spell, will now be our stable's only Howard Porter runner. I would have considered him a good chance if he hadn't drawn the second row. He's going well."

Adda Paternal Suit will be driven by De Campo’s son Aiden, 21, who has scored 98 wins this season. De Campo Jr, a reinsman since 2009, drove a total of 126 winners in his first three seasons.

He has made strong progress to be eighth on the 2012-13 WA reinsmen's premiership. Ahead of him are Gary Hall Jr (227 wins), Colin Brown (135), Chris Voak (130), Morgan Woodley (124), Chris Lewis (117), Nathan Turvey (106) and Shannon Suvaljko (101).

Andrew De Campo has also booked his son to drive Conniving Major Dave (Premier Suzuki 3YO Pace) and Harrison Maguire (Yes Loans heat) on Friday night.

"Conniving Major Dave won easily at Bunbury last Saturday night when having his second start since arriving from New Zealand," the trainer said. "He has since worked very well and is improving all the time. It's difficult to know how Conniving Major Dave will handle a class rise in Perth at this stage, but he has a bright future.

"Harrison Maguire ran a strong fourth at Gloucester Park last Friday and his work this week has been good. He's well drawn at gate two in the qualifying heat."

Andrew De Campo has engaged Matthew White to drive Menelaus Of Sparta (Nepean Conveyors Pace) and Car Fifty Four (Alltools Handicap) on Friday night.

Other drives for Aiden De Campo are Showdown At Midnight and Im Elsa, trained by Murray Hansen and Wes Andrews.

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