Anderson and Casey combine for more success
By Jonny Turner
Westwood Beach pacer Spirit Of St Louis showed his class on the nation’s biggest harness racing stage when winning at the New Zealand Cup Carnival’s Show Day meeting at Addington yesterday.
The 3yr-old scored the biggest victory of his fleeting career when dashing along the inner to win race 3, the South Of The Waitaki event, for trainer Graeme Anderson and driver Matthew Williamson.
The win gave Cantabrian Trevor Casey a race to race double as a breeder and owner after Lone Star Lad took out the previous event.
Casey races Spirit Of St Louis with of a crew of Anderson’s owners who are spread between Canterbury and Southland.
The 3yr-old’s win continued a brilliant winning strike rate Anderson has built with Casey’s breed.
It’s an association that started when the pair were having morning tea at Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s All Stars stable after watching their horses work.
“It all started when Trevor sent me a horse called All Star Magician,” Anderson said.
“I had Titan Banner at Mark and Natalie’s place and we were there one day having morning tea.” “Trevor offered the horse to me because Mark was finished with him, so I took him home.”
“We ended up winning three in a row with him before we sold him.”
Anderson and Casey combined to win three races with Bettor Sensation before Spirit Of St Louis arrived in Dunedin.
Anderson admitted the pacer did not look like a potential standout when he got him.
“He was just a wee thing and he had a horrible big split on one leg.”
“But he has developed in to a nice horse, he has got high speed and a cruisy nature.”
Spirit Of St Louis’ victory took his career record to three wins and a second placing from four starts.
Anderson said he will need to carefully place the horse as his rating continues to rise.
“He has got up in the ratings pretty quickly, but we are going to have to keep going.”
“He has got the Sires Stakes Silver next and then there is a 3yr-old race for him at Gore.”
“At least in those races he is racing his own class.”
“I would love to give him a month off after Gore and then get him ready for races like the [New Zealand] derby and the Southern Supremacy.”
Williamson was denied another driving win when Lone Star Lad out-sprinted Fanny Hill to win race 2.
The victory was a deserved one after the trotter, bred and solely raced by Casey, had campaigned consistently throughout the spring.
Friday’s race could be the last time Lone Star Lad starts from trainer Regan Todd’s stable.
The 5yr-old is under off to Australian buyers.