Swayzee passes standing start test with flying colours

By Adam Hamilton

Exciting Aussie pacer Swayzee ticked his biggest New Zealand Cup box yet at the Menangle trials yesterday.

And his driver Cam Hart was buzzing.

Swayzee didn’t just step away well in a standing-start trial – first try at the caper – but left Hart convinced not even the huge Addington Cup Day crowd and atmosphere would be an issue.

“Jase (trainer Jason Grimson) and I didn’t think it would be a problem and today certainly confirmed it,” Hart said after the trial.

“He was relaxed, stood there well and stepped away nicely. He feels like he’d stand there for five minutes if you wanted him to.”

The NZ TAB cut Swayzee's Cup odds from $5 into $4.20 after the trial.

The trial was simply about getting some standing-start practice, but Swayzee still zipped home in 25.8sec at the end of a slowly run 2300m.

“That was other really exciting part,” Hart said. “He’s been a rolling sort of horse. He could a run a quick quarter, but he had to roll into it.

“But the point-to-point speed he showed in the trial was fantastic. It’s the sharpest he’d ever felt for me.”

Hart insists Swayzee has improved since downing local hero and his half-brother, Leap To Fame, in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 22.

“I’m sure he’s come back better after the break,” he said. “That speed, the sharpness.”

Swayzee, who returned from a break with an arrogant Menangle win on October 14, will cap his preparation for the NZ trip in a 2400m free-for-all at Menangle on Sunday.

Australia’s other NZ Cup hopeful, Spirit Of St Louis, was also in yesterday’s trial and looks Swayzee’s main danger on Sunday.

Swayzee won yesterday’s trial by 2.2m over veteran former Kiwi pacer Mach Shard, who led. Spirit Of St Louis was another 1.3m away third spot.

Swayzee is $1.35 favourite from gate four with Spirit Of St Louis at $6 from barrier eight on Sunday.

“There’s a chance Spirit Of St Louis might cross from that 2400m starting point if they want to bustle him out, but the distance is going to really suit us,” Hart said.

“I can’t see anything wanting to hold my guy out if I really want the front.”

Hart said Swayzee was likely to return to Australia for the Brisbane Inter Dominion after his NZ trip.

But co-trainer Luke McCarthy said Spirit Of St Louis would “probably not” tackle the Inter Dominion for a third consecutive year.

“No, we’re thinking we will skip the Inter with ‘Louis’, but take Cantfindabettorman, who trialled really well (yesterday).”

In other stable news, McCarthy said he was excited to have talented former Kiwi pacer Nicholas Cage join the barn.

“He’s settled in a treat, “ he said.

To watch the Menangle trial click here 

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