Taree trainer assembles three of Coff's Harbour Cup’s top five hopes

ROSS Stitt might do to Chris Waller what the leading Sydney trainer has done to his opposing Sydney trainers in today’s $80,000 Carlton Mid Coffs Harbour Cup (1600m).

Waller, who has dominated Sydney racing fields in recent months and won the last four Sydney trainers’ premierships, has 9-2 favourite Disciple in today’s Coffs Cup.

Taree trainer Stitt has three of the top five runners – topweight Youthful Jack, last start Sawtell Cup winner Single Spirit and imposing Southern Shimmer.

All three geldings have excellent chances and good reasons to follow, Stitt told The Leader yesterday.

“They are all fit and well,” Stitt said.

“Single Spirit won with a bit in hand the other day (Sawtell Cup at Coffs Harbour).

“The kid (Andrew Adkins) rode him well too. He was going away from them at the end. Benny Looker’s riding him again. He rode him in the Grafton Guineas last year when he was second (to Kurtley) and been trying to get back on him ever since.”

“Youthful Jack is good too.  He didn’t like any of the hard tracks he’s been running on. Now he’s back on a good track. Great to have a good track, there’s plenty of grass on Coffs.

“And Youthful Jack’s work this last week or so has been the best it’s been for two years. He’s been flying, working an absolute treat.

“He’ll relish being on a softer track and he’s got a big drop in weight too.”

However the biggest drop is Southern Shimmer.

Pushed to decide which is his best chance, Stitt opts for the seven-year-old bay gelding who returned from a long layoff to finish a narrow second to Bouzy Rouge in the Satur Handicap at Scone last month.

Robert Thompson will ride and believes the big horse, a son of Southern Image, with 10 wins from 34 starts and almost $250,000 in prizemoney, is going to take some beating from his number one barrier.

“He’s the best of mine,” Stitt said. “I look at his tendon every morning. It’s still holding on.”

Stitt believes Southern Shimmer “has to beat the mare” (Bouzy Rouge) just on weight alone.

“He drops from 60kg to 54kg for this. The pace of the race down there (Scone) didn’t suit either.”

The fact Stitt bought an “ice machine” that enables him to pump ice water through the special boots as a special treatment on their legs is a grand aid.


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