The rise and rise of Spirit Of St Louis (Sweet Lou) continued at Albion Park over the weekend.
The former harness racing Kiwi five-year-old finished last campaign as the top seed in Australia’s open-class ranks following the retirement of his megastar stablemate King Of Swing.
Spirit Of St Louis’s seconds to King Of Swing in the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile were arguably as good a runs as the winner.
The son of Sweet Lou has won both runs back from a spell, albeit narrowly, and clearly looms as the horse to beat in the upcoming Group 1 double – Sunshine Sprint (July 16) and Blacks A Fake (July 23).
It was a big effort on Saturday night to come from off the pace and rundown emerging former Kiwi pacer Fire Fox in a 55.8sec last half on a very wet track in the Wondais Mate Pace (1660m).
In the end, regular driver Jack Callaghan just nursed Spirit Of St Louis to the line for a half-neck win in a 1min53sec mile rate.
“He’s come back so well,” co-trainer Luke McCarthy said. “He obviously took the next step last campaign and is now a complete racehorse now. Where he used to rely on his speed, he’s more versatile now.”
On the flipside, former top class Kiwi pacer AG’s White Socks will need to improve to be a factor in the big races.
McCarthy drove him at his first start for the stable and made an early move to sit parked before he weakened from the home bend to finish 12.4m from the winner in ninth place.
Whether it is racing – Standardbreds or Thoroughbreds – rehabilitation, agistment or breeding, Cobbitty Equine Farm’s location, facilities and operations ensure the horses welfare and development are paramount.