Jack Callaghan and Spirit Of St Louis are on another major mission this weekend. Photo by Club Menangle
SATURDAY night’s Group 1 Del-Re National A G Hunter Cup sees one of the strongest New South Wales contingencies to have contested the Victorian feature.
Sydney-based trainers Jason Grimson and Belinda McCarthy will each be represented by two runners, all of whom have serious chances to win the $500,000 time-honoured event.
And after drawing barrier one, the McCarthy-trained Spirit Of St Louis will take a power of beating following a return to his best form in recent weeks.
‘Louis’, as he is affectionately known, was dominant in taking out last Saturday night’s Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle, overpowering a strong field in a respectable 1.53.5 for the 2300m trip.
That effort was a perfect lead-in to the Hunter Cup and although he faces a much stronger line-up, has earned a crack at it.
Spirit Of St Louis will be partnered by regular reinsman Jack Callaghan, who knows the six-year-old so well having driven him to nine of his victories.
Callaghan is well aware of the significance drawing gate one is to his chances of securing the silverware and is excited over his prospects.
“Outside of the Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile, winning a race like this is something you dream of,” said Callaghan.
“I am so grateful for the opportunities connections have given me to continue to drive Louis, and I have no doubt he has the class to win on Saturday night.
“I cannot underestimate the quality of the field, but we have drawn perfectly in gate one and obviously will be looking to take advantage of that.
“His win at Menangle last week was super.
“He felt unreal in running and was strong to the line.”
Before heading down to Melbourne, Callaghan has driving commitments at both Penrith tonight and Newcastle tomorrow night.
The young star driver will partner former Western Australian pacer To Fast To Serious in the $35,000 Newcastle Cup, an impressive winner in his first run for Belinda McCarthy on January 27.
“It will be a full-on few days as I have drives tonight at Penrith and then a busy one at Newcastle before heading down to Melbourne,” said the young former Hunter Valley reinsman.
“I am keen to hook up again with To Fast To Serious.
“He felt great in his win at Newcastle last week when he rated a fast 1.52.4.”