It could be another TAB Summer of Glory to remember for Belinda McCarthy’s powerful stable after Spirit Of St Louis was dominant in tonight’s Garrards Bendigo Pacing Cup.
Young reinsman Jack Callaghan was able to balance up, glide to the top and then control proceedings for a commanding win, sealed with a blazing 26.7-second final quarter belying the 2650-metre long distance Cup.
“It was able to work out perfect for him,” Callaghan told TrotsVision. “He was able to get the lead pretty cheap and then that first half we were just left alone.
“Everyone knows how fast the horse is, so all he really had to do was dash a quarter and he did that comfortably.”
Having his first start in Victoria and first race since running eighth in the Inter Dominion final, Spirit Of St Louis reaffirmed that at age five he was well positioned to make Grand Circuit noise with a complete performance.
From gate two he rolled to the top ahead of Torrid Saint and, despite key rival Triple Eight emerging on his outside, Callaghan set a moderate 79.1-second lead time that rolled into 30.6-second and 31.1-second quarters.
It meant there would be plenty in the tank for the run to the line and so it would prove, with nothing able to make ground as the leaders finished first and second, while Tango Tara ran on well into third.
“A horse that can follow speed (like) he can and still rattle off sectionals like he does, I think he’s the type of horse that can win any race,” Callaghan said.
“He’s just got great high speed and then at that little bit lower level like tonight he can just use a bit of strength as well.
“Luke (McCarthy) and Belinda are great to work for. Ever since I moved to Sydney they’ve taken me straight under their wing, a lot of my success from last season and hopefully onwards is all because of the support they’ve put in me, so it’s really great to reward them with races like this.”
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.