Swayzee lone Aussie in IRT NZ Cup
By Adam Hamilton
And then there was one. Australia is left with just the one runner - Swayzee - in Tuesday week's New Zealand Cup after high-class former Kiwi pacer Spirit Of St Louis was ruled-out today.
The dual millionaire pacer ran well below his best when a tiring fourth to Swayzee at Menangle last Sunday, sparking concerns in the camp.
Co-trainer Luke McCarthy had Spirit Of St Louis fully vetted and blood samples taken yesterday (Tuesday).
"They came back this morning and they weren't 100 per cent, so there's no NZ Cup for him," he said.
"We hoped he was just a bit flat on the day, but it just wasn't like him.
"The bloods just weren't 100 per cent and you've got to have them spot on for a trip and race like that.
"We'll now switch our focus back to Brisbane (Inter Dominion) next month, which we were going to miss if he went to NZ."
So, the Jason Grimson-trained Swayzee will be the lone Aussie flag bearer when he jets out to NZ on Sunday.
But the way he's racing, including last Sunday's Menangle blitz, he will be as hard to beat as any in the great race at Addington.
Swayzee is unbeaten in eight starts since joining Grimson's stable, including downing Aussie superstar Leap To Fame in an epic Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 22.
Swayzee ticked a key box when he stood well and stepped safely from a standing-start in a trial at Menangle last Wednesday.
Grimson and driver Cam Hart will be looking to go one better than last year when they finished second in the Cup with Majestic Cruiser.