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Cairns owners rapt with another G1 win

By Duane Ranger

Queensland’s winning Hunter Cup owners, John and Beth Richardson, doubt their latest star will race at Albion Park, simply because it’s a similar size to Gloucester Park.

“We transferred him from Gary Hall Senior’s stable in Perth to Luke McCarthy and Craig Cross after he won at Gloucester Park in mid-November.

“We did that simply because we thought he would perform better on the big roomy tracks in Sydney and Melbourne - and it was a decision that proved to be spot on because he some how managed to sneak into the field off the ballot and win the Hunter Cup. That was a real thrill,” said Richardson, who has a 50 per cent share in King Of Swing with his wife Beth.

In fact the couple have won more that 1,000 races in their illustrious ownership career which dates back to the mid-1960s when Pukka Sahib won their first race for them at Gloucester Park in the mid 1960s.

Their 1,000 victories have come from about 130 individual horses. Gary Hall Senior has trained more than 860 of them. They have also won a whopping  27 Group One victories, 32 at Group Two level and 19 Group Threes.

“We are from Western Australia and have been in Cairns for 30-plus years. The greatest horse we ever owned was the three-time Inter Dominion winner, I’m Themightyquinn. He cost nowhere near as much to buy as what King of Swing did,” Richardson said.

“We got them both from New Zealand,” he added.

All the Richardson horses go under Mrs Richardson’s name in the racebook. Other Group One winners she has owned have included Chicago Bull, Beaudiene Boaz, Alta Christiano and of course the 2018 Western Australia Derby and Breeders Crown winner, King Of Swing.

In 2018 Mrs Richardson became just the second woman to become a Life Member of the Western Australia Trotting Association which was formed in 1910 and currently trades under the name of Gloucester Park Harness Racing.

“We are really looking forward to watching King Of Swing perform in New South Wales and Victoria. He’s had two wins – one each at Melton and Menangle and ran second in the other one. I’d doubt we would bring him up here to race.

“In fact I think the last time I was at Albion Park I watched I’m Themightyquinn (58 wins & $4.5m) race. That was the night he ended his career a winner in the 2014 Blacks A Fake group One,” Richardson (John) said.

King Of Swing is the first foal of the former top Artsplace 3-year-old filly in Twist And Twirl - 1:56.8 ($283,258), who won both the Great Northern Oaks and the New Zealand Sires Stakes 3-year-old Final, as well as running second in both the New Zealand Oaks and the Australasian Breeders Crown 3-year-old Fillies Final.

The 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover entire won seven of his 13 starts in New Zealand and placed in four others ($236,244) before transferring to the Hall barn out west on March 8, 2018. 

The former Ray Green trainee came to Hall a Sires Stakes 3yo runner-up. That was when he bowed to the classy Chase Auckland – a pacer he beat into third in the February 1 Hunter Cup.

Since arriving in Australia King of Swing has now won 21 of his 52 career starts, placed in 12 others and banked $793,196.

The multiple Group One winner paced a personal best 1:48.7 mile when leading and all the way to win this year’s Hunter Cup by a nose from Our Uncle Sam. He was driven by Gary Hall Junior.

“We initially didn’t think we would get a start, but when San Carlo went lame and had to be scratched the door opened for us. We drew one and the rest is history,” Richardson said. 

King Of Swing’s sectionals for the 1609m pace at Melton’s Tabcorp Park were 29.5, 29.3, 27.7 and a blistering 26.9.