Single Spirit heading to Coffs Gold Cup with Sawtell detour
A GOOD performance by Single Spirit in Sunday's $25,000 Sawtell Cup (1516m) at Coffs Harbour will catapult the three-year-old into frontline contention for the $80,000 Coffs Harbour Cup (1600m).
Trainer Ross Stitt has mapped out a future plan for the gelding which also includes the $60,000 Taree Cup (2000m) on August 18.
Single Spirit is coming off an unlucky second to Kurtley in the $50,000 Grafton Guineas (1600m) on July 10 when the son of Not A Single Doubt rattled home with a paralysing finish from last to go under by three-quarters of a length to the Leon Davies-trained galloper.
"I could say with conviction he was unlucky at Grafton and a victim of the barrier draw 13," Taree-based Stitt said.
"He was going to win at the 200 metres but probably peaked on his run at the 50 metres.
"He's done really well since, come on from the run."
Single Spirit was a $55,000 Scone yearling purchase and is out of Stunning Spirit, a half-sister to Stitt's 2013 Ramornie winner Youthful Jack.
The gelding has recorded four wins and two placing's from 11 starts and is starting to follow similar form lines to Stitt's other good galloper Southern Shimmer.
Like Southern Shimmer, Stitt has nurtured the gelding allowing him time to develop.
Stitt has a good opinion of Single Spirit.
"He's furnished into a lovely horse," he said.
"He's still probably six months away from being fully developed but he's got a brilliant turn of foot and a huge stride.
"The plan with him has always been if he went good at Grafton we'd progress to the Coffs Harbour Cup (August 1) then the Taree Cup.
"I've always believed he'd run ten furlongs (2000m)."
Unfortunately for Stitt, Single Spirit has again drawn wide in barrier 18.
"Oh, well," he sighed.
"In the end being wide might be the best place to be on the heavy track."
Single Spirit will be ridden by record breaking Robert Thompson, who has been riding winners for Stitt for over 30 years.
Sunday's Sawtell Cup fixture kicks off the three-day Coffs Harbour Cup carnival