Anderson in good spirits ahead of Vase
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Southern speedster Spirit Of St Louis will have his first shot at Group glory when he lines-up in the Gr.3 Allied Security Maurice Holmes Vase (2600m) at Addington Raceway on Friday.
The Graeme Anderson and Mike Love-trained gelding has established a strong record to date, having won eight of his 12 career starts and placed on three other occasions, including a runner-up effort in the Listed PGG Wrightson Standardbred ‘Harness 7000’ (1980m).
He will tackle a quality field on Friday and his connections are eager to find out how he will fare.
“Everybody, including myself, will be quite interested to see how he measures up,” Anderson said.
“Because of his rating he doesn’t really have any other options. You are either giving them 40m and chasing them around or you put him in (open-class) where hopefully he can step away, get a cosy trip, and just see where we end up.”
The son of Sweet Lou has won both of his starts this preparation and those performances gave Anderson the confidence to press on to bigger targets with his rising star.
“He has grown up a bit and got a bit stronger. His last couple of wins were very good,” Anderson said.
“Being a local there is the Hannon Memorial, which probably wouldn’t have been on his radar six or seven weeks ago, but he had a nice win at Invercargill and then that win at Addington where he was quite impressive, so he gets his chance.
“We will just measure him race-by-race and we will see where is at.”
Anderson was planning to target some feature three-year-old races last term with Spirit Of St Loius, but those plans were foiled by the COVID-19 enforced lockdown.
“Last season we looked after him and were looking to go to the Derby and Supremacy Stakes and maybe The Jewels, but that didn’t eventuate,” he said.
“We don’t really know where we are at until we line-up against these type of horses. We will find out on Friday, it’s a learning curve for everyone.
“Obviously we want him to step away nicely and give him the best possible opportunity and then we will be able to work out where he is at in the big scheme of things.”
Spirit Of Louis has shown his blistering turn of foot in his last few starts and Anderson is hoping that will hold him in good stead on Friday.
“The good thing with him is when he shows that bit of speed he can come back and relax, which is great,” he said.
“Louis is such a good gaited horse, which helps, but he has got to go and do the job now.”