Decision time for Spirit Of St Louis
By Adam Hamilton
The next 24 hours will decide whether high-class Aussie pacer Spirit Of St Louis heads to the New Zealand Cup.
The dual Miracle Mile placegetter delivered a rare disappointment when he tired late for fourth to fellow NZ Cup hopeful Swayzee in a strongly run Menangle free-for-all last Sunday.
Co-trainer Luke McCarthy is having Spirit Of St Louis fully vetted and blood tests are due back late Wednesday.
"We still want to go, but we've got to make sure everything is ok," he said.
"He was certainly a bit disappointing last Sunday and that's not like him, he's normally so consistent."
McCarthy suspects Spirit Of St Louis may have been flattened by a midweek standing start trial ahead of last Sunday's race.
"It turned into a harder trial than we would have liked and we don't normally work him like that," he said.
"They didn't go quick over all, but really ripped home at the finish.
"It's just a theory, but Jack (Callaghan, driver) said he felt flat even in the warm-up on Sunday. He said he just didn't feel himself.
"And to see him lose ground like that from the home turn, that just isn't him.
"Hopefully everything comes back OK and we can still push ahead."
Spirit Of St Louis is booked on the same flight as Swayzee across to NZ on Sunday.
McCarthy has already said Spirit Of St Louis almost certainly won't tackle his third consecutive Inter Dominion series in Brisbane in December.
Asked about Swayzee's recent form, McCarthy said: "He looks awesome. He just doesn't seem to get tired and runs great times."