SINGLE Spirit could launch a Tamworth Cup bid from Sunday’s $25,000 Watson, McNamara and Watt Guyra Cup (1400m).
The Taree-trained gelding, second to Kurtley in this year’s Grafton Guineas before winning a Sawtell Cup at Coffs Harbour and then finishing second to Pepperwood in the 1600m Coffs Harbour Cup, is being aimed at Tamworth Jockey Club’s feature race – the April 27 Tamworth Cup (1400m).
The Tamworth Cup is now a quality handicap and has increased prizemoney to now carry $80,000 in prizemoney for a race where apprentices cannot claim and the maximum weight is 62kg.
Weight is something Taree trainer Ross Stitt is mindful of for his four-year-old up-and-comer Single Spirit.
“He’s only a Class 5 horse but got 58kg (in the Guyra Cup),” Stitt said. “They are killing us.”
Drawing barrier one was a bonus.
“We’d want to get something in our favour,” Stitt said as he travelled home from Launceston where eight-year-old Youthful Jack ran eighth in Wednesday’s $100,000 George Adams Plate (1600m).
This year’s Ramornie winner might race until the end of the season and then could be retired.
It’s been a brilliant career for the son of Youthful Legs who won his first race, a maiden at Taree, and then his next two at Armidale, including the then Armidale 2YO Slipper.
“Armidale’s been good to us,” Stitt said.
“Youthful Jack won his two two-year-old races there. Single Spirit is out of a half sister to Youthful Jack too.”
While Youthful Jack has won 18 of his 68 starts for $1,142,130 in prizemoney, Single Spirit has won five of his 15 starts for $103,885.
He came from last to get within a length of Kurtley in the Grafton Guineas and has had one run back from a spell.
“Robert (Thompson) has a bit of a wrap on him,” Stitt said.
He said 1600m appears to be Single Spirit’s best distance but believes he will “stretch out to 2000m”.
“He’s a lot stronger this time – he’s put on 40 to 50 kilograms. He’s developed a lot more.”
Kurtley is topweight for Sunday’s Guyra Cup with 59kg and also received the same weight in Tuesday’s $15,000 Shorty Cribb Aberdeen Cup (1280m) yesterday to be second topweight to the Kris Lees-trained Proliferate (63kg) in the feature race at Muswellbrook.
Yesterday’s Leader also reported Muswellbrook Race Club would host the HNWRA 2013/2014 premiership awards. That was a mixup. Scone Race Club will be the venue for those premiership awards later in the year.