GUYRA and Casino Cup-winning Single Spirit is a definite runner in next month's $30,000 Moree Cup (1400m).
The Ross Stitt-trained gelding will bypass the Ballina Cup in preference to the September 6 Father's Day feature as the Taree gelding also completes something of a "bucket list" run for his veteran coastal trainer.
"I've never had a runner at Moree," Ross Stitt admitted to The Leader this week.
"I've stopped over in Moree on my way to Queensland with horses but never raced there."
Single Spirit won the Guyra Cup at Armidale back in March and was also unplaced in the Tamworth Cup but bounced back to form with a rousing, and close, third to stablemate Southern Shimmer in the recent Coffs Harbour Cup.
He had also finished a good third to Myamira and Bouzy Rouge in the South Grafton Cup.
"That was a good run," Stitt said.
"And on Sunday (Casino Cup) he was 200-1 at the top of the straight.
"But he put his head down and charged.
"I'm looking forward to the Moree trip with him."
Stitt might have taken veteran and Ramornie Handicap-winning Youthful Jack to Moree as well.
"He broke down at track work this morning," he said.
"What a shame. Did a sesamoid. That'll finish him now.
"Not a way I'd have liked him to finish but he will make someone a lovely hack in a few months' time."
While Single Spirit won Sunday's Casino Cup, Stitt had been thinking of Ballina Cup and Dubbo Cup starts for Single Spirit.
Now he'll bypass Ballina and, hopefully, send Southern Shimmer to Dubbo.
"He (Southern Shimmer) picked up a leg infection (in his good leg)," Stitt said.
"Don't know how or why but gee, there was some heat coming out of it.
"But he's on the improve now and Dubbo looks a nice race for him."
Last Sunday's Casino Cup was Stitt's second cup after ill-fated Mighty Digger won the 1991 version in a dead heat with the Armidale Cup-winning General Parker.
Disaster struck on the way home when Mighty Digger was killed in a float accident near Kew.
Stitt is also disappointed to miss Sunday's Taree Cup with Southern Shimmer.
He's never won his hometown cup and thought Southern Shimmer a good chance for erasing that from his bucket list.
Hopefully Single Spirit can make his first Moree runner a Cup success on September 6.
Nominations for the Moree Cup close at 11am on Tuesday, September 2.
HNWRA racing continues this Saturday with a SKY 2 meeting at Armidale and then Monday's seven-race TAB meeting at Cessnock's Wine Country Race Club.
The $15,000 Tarangower Open Handicap (1300m) is the feature event on the Friday, August 29 Scone Race Club meeting.
Nominations for Scone close at 11am this Monday.