SINGLE Spirit will start in Sunday’s $30,000 Fred Monckton’s Bearing Centre Moree Cup (1400m) despite his big weight.
The Cup favourite had received 61.5kg this week but his Taree trainer, Ross Stitt, alleviated that a little by booking young 3kg-claiming apprentice Kaylee Kirkwood to ride his talented five-year-old gelding.
“She rode old Youthful Jack in the Maclean Cup for me and couldn’t have ridden him any better,” Stitt said yesterday.
“Single Spirit has drawn ideally (3).
“He’s going to get the run of the race from there.
“And he’s not a hard horse to ride.
“He’s just got to be held up until the 300m.”
The long Moree straight makes it an easier proposition for the young apprentice to balance Single Spirit for a final run home.
“It is a good long straight,” Stitt said.
“I’ve never had a runner there. I’ve stopped over a few times but never had a starter.
“And it looks a good even field.
“It would be a nice race to win.”
Single Spirit is coming off a brilliant win in the Casino Cup.
“He was 100-1 at the 200m,” Stitt said of a gelding who found plenty to sizzle late.
The gelding has won eight of his 25 starts including a Guyra Cup at Armidale earlier this year and a Sawtell Cup at Coffs Harbour three runs back.
He followed that Sawtell Cup win with a close third to stablemate Southern Shimmer in the $80,000 Coffs Harbour Cup.
Stitt’s first racing experience at Moree could be a triple treat.
He also has Lady With Spurs (race 3) and A Touching Moment (race 5) in before the Cup.
“A Touching Moment was a bit stiff here and Lady With Spurs has sharpened up a lot. They’ll go all right too.”
It is a fair hike for Stitt too.
“We’ll leave about 10am Saturday – take about six hours or so,” he said.
Single Spirit gives away weight to all the field.
Eanie Meanie might be one danger for Scone trainer Mary Moses, who hails from Moree.
Moree-trained Tapakeg, who won this year’s Golden Triangle picnic series, is also working well for Moree trainer Peter Sinclair and last year’s Cup winner, Winning Review, will have a huge emotional tilt at the Cup.
Alex Stokes rode Winning Review to win last year’s Moree Cup and returns on board a gelding trained by the late Phil Anderson.
The Newcastle trainer only passed away this week but Winning Review will still run with Stokes determined to give Anderson a Cup-winning send-off.
HNWRA trainers Sally Torrens and Leon Davies chase a Mendooran Cup win tomorrow.
Davies has Subic Bay entered in the $6000 Ballimore Auctions HD Bell Mendooran Cup (1500m) and the gelding will jump from barrier one with Daniel Northey aboard.
Subtract will fly the Torrens flag in the Cup, going from barrier four with Sophie Young on top.