Spirit Of St Louis – Sensational
27th June 2020
Those on course at Ascot Park today were treated to one of the most sensational runs seen in years by a pacer.
At about the 600 diminutive Sweet Lou three year old Spirit Of St Louis looked to be in a hopeless position.
After stepping nicely from the twenty metre mark driver Matthew Williamson settled the gelding last on the outside with Betterthanbrie making the pace.
Half way down the back straight most horses were off the inside running line so Williamson decided to run Spirit Of St Louis up the inside.
‘It was looking good coming off the back because I thought I’d get on the back of Kirk (Kirk Larsen driving Maidonthebeach).”
But that move soon looked flawed as horses began to move sharply round the outside and Maidonthebeach wasn’t progressing.
“I got held up badly by the two Gray runners (Nota Bene Denario and Born To Boogie) coming round and I had to go behind them. I ended up giving up the ground I’d made back to them.”
Williamson was still seven lengths off the leader turning in and wide on the track. Halfway down the straight Spirit Of St Louis was still only going to run second but he sustained his finish and nabbed a game Betterthanbrie right on the line, winning by a nose.
“Coming round the last bend I could tell he was jogging. It really surprised me how well he let down. It was a phenomenal run just to get up.”
Spirit Of St Louis ran his last 400 metres in 27.8. The overall time of 3-22.6 was 0.6 outside the track and Southland record of 3-22.0 held by Tas Man Bromac.
Spirit Of St Louis wide out just getting up
Unsure owners anxiously waiting for the judge’s call
A happy Matthew Williamson returning to scale
After the run Williamson was full of praise for the horse.
“He’s got good high speed and is a lovely natured horse. He’s such a laid back wee fella and pretty lazy. You don’t know how you’re going until you wake him up.
Williamson also praised the horse’s Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson.
“I don’t want to talk about him too much, it’ll go to his head (laughter) but he’s done a great job with this horse. His runners are always ready.”
So after today’s sensational effort how does Williamson rate Spirit Of St Louis?
‘I think he’s the best. With the run today to beat the older horses and to give them the ground he did was a hell of a good effort. With that one cold shot at them he’s at his best.”
Spirit Of St Louis is owned by Trevor Casey, Anderson, Tony Gow, Steve Pulley, Ray Chaiklin, Pauline Gillan and Edwin and Kieran Corby.