SINGLE Spirit confirmed a tilt at a Tamworth Cup when the Taree gelding received a Robert Thompson special ride to win yesterday’s $25,000 Watson, McNamara & Watt Guyra Cup (1400m).
The Ross Stitt-trained gelding was stuck in behind the leaders turning down and around the Armidale hill.
Thompson waited longer than most before a run opened and he booted the four-year-old son of Not a Single Doubt through to race away for a three quarter length win from the Neil Godbolt-trained Al Nova.
Grant Prosser’s Clunes Rocket was a long head away third, just in front of returning Kurtley.
Stitt marvelled at Thompson’s ride.
The Taree trainer also noted it was an ironic win.
“He beat his mother home,” Stitt said of Thompson’s mother, Phyliss, who owns a share of runner-up Al Nova.
“He’s a nice little horse.
“He’s still got some growing to do. He can only improve.
“ He’s always been a little bit immature too – that’s been his biggest problem.
“He’ll get better.”
Stitt said the gelding, who has now won six of his 16 starts, takes an enormous stride and will be in Tamworth for the $80,000 Tamworth Cup.
“He’ll go to Brisbane next for a Class 6 1400m and then go to Tamworth,” he said.
Stitt trains Single Spirit for a syndicate including Greg Coleman, the Taree-Wingham Jockey Club president.
Coleman was on track yesterday.
“We bought him at Scone for $55,000,” Coleman said.
“He’s from the same family as Youthful Jack.
“He’s been a bit unlucky too.
“He got a long way back when he was second to Kurtley in the Grafton Guineas and then second in the Coffs Cup when the winner got a rails run.”
Thompson’s win was his 3977th.
“He’s ridden our horses for 30 years,” Stitt said.
“He’s ridden the best – Heavenly Glow, Youthful Jack, Southern Shimmer and this bloke,” he said.
“This was one of his best for us.”
Earlier, Kwilas Law warmed up for the Armidale Cup with a short head win in the Sole Taxation Armidale Cup Prelude Benchmark 70 Handicap (1900m).
The Luke Griffth-trained gelding came from last at the first turn to hit the line with Dusty’s Felt and Get On The Grange.
Kwilas Law was adjudged to get home by a short head with Get On The Grange another short half head back in third.
It gave Kwilas Law his 12th win from 107 starts.