McCarthy leads Betfair’s King of The Bush

Caulfield trainer Brendan McCarthy has seized outright leadership in Betfair’s King of the Bush series even though his gelding Nice And Neat could only finish third to the Peter Moody trained Tampiko at Kilmore on Sunday.

Nice And Neat (Brief Truce) loomed up behind Tampiko at Kilmore but was unable to rein in the well-bred Lonhro mare.  “We wanted to race him a little closer to the speed than usual but he missing the start and was up against it on a leader-friendly track,” McCarthy said.  “He was racing first-up from a spell and his condition may have given out, too.”

McCarthy leads the King of the Bush on 14 points ahead of Moody and Colac trainer Daryl Cannon on 10 points.

Tampiko’s win may not quite have matched the excitement within the Moody camp following its Group winning treble the previous day at Caulfield, nevertheless, the mare’s successful Australian debut was a pleasant surprise.  “She did surprise us,” Moody Racing Manager Jeff O’Connor said.  “She hadn’t shown us that sort of ability at home.”

O’Connor explained that initially, the Betfair King of the Bush series had not been a serious attraction for the stable.  But Moody may now nominate for upcoming legs at Sale on October 24 and Echuca or Wangaratta on Melbourne Cup day.

Moody might have more ground to make up if the McCarthy trained galloper Maccas Miss scores points in the fourth leg at Avoca this Saturday.

Maccas Miss (Regal Shot) won the second leg of the King of the Bush series at Bairnsdale.  McCarthy is weighing up his options whether to run at Avoca or reserve her for the following King of the Bush race at Sale on Sunday week.

The Betfair King of the Bush series consists of nine legs run at various Betfair-sponsored country Victorian race tracks.  It culminates with a three-venue finale on Melbourne Cup day.

Points are awarded to placegetters in each leg; the trainer who collects the most points across the series will collect the $25,000 cash prize and title of King (or Queen) of the Bush.

Further information about the Betfair King of the Bush – including news, schedules, results, standings and information for trainers – can be found at