Single Spirit on campaign trail to win Coffs Cup in August
WE KNOW we're getting close to the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup carnival when the good horses begin to appear.
Taree trainer Ross Stitt has 2014 Sawtell Cup winner and Gold Cup placegetter Single Spirit on the campaign trail.
Single Spirit was third behind stablemate Southern Shimmer in the big race last year and the trainer has plans for his five-year-old rising star to take the premier position this time around on August 6.
Stitt will start the horse on Sunday in the $27,000 Wauchope RSL Wauchope Cup (1450m) with the race held in Kempsey because the Port Macquarie track is closed for renovations.
On Sunday Single Spirit carries 60.5kg and will come from barrier 15.
"He's got it all against him with topweight and the outside draw," Stitt conceded.
"But I guess he's got Robert Thompson aboard and I suppose that can mean a lot."
Hall Of Fame jockey Thompson, with more winners than any other Australian rider to his name, and Stitt, have been a formidable combination for over two decades.
They have shared many big race wins together including the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup in 2014.
This week the champion jockey was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant contribution to the racing industry.
With a word of caution, Stitt admitted Single Spirit, a very tall thoroughbred who weighs in at around 530kg, is not the same horse as he was in the spring of 2014.
"He's had a niggling leg problem which meant I had to back off him a bit.
"It's a manageable problem and stable at the moment.
"His work's been very satisfying and when he's right he's a pretty good galloper.
"As I said earlier he's pretty close to the mark and deserves to win one this time in."