Racing WA

St Louis To Make A Splash In The West

2 February 2023

Star pacer Spirit Of St Louis is set to add a significant class factor to the inaugural running of The Nullarbor (2536m) on April 14, after he was revealed in Aaron Bain Racing and Summit Bloodstock’s slot yesterday.

The Belinda McCarthy-trained pacer is the third runner to book his place in the $1 million event, joining Magnificent Storm and Lavra Joe.

Spirit Of St Louis has returned to racing in stylish form following his Inter Dominion campaign, scoring two wins at Menangle last month.

Bain said seeing Spirit Of St Louis come back in good order was key to finalising the deal.

“He went well first-up and then he was back to the Spirit Of St Louis of old second-up,” Bain told The Trots WA.

“After his run on Saturday, we were quick to get on the phone to Luke (McCarthy) and got the deal done.

“It was just sorting some minor details and we think he’s the perfect horse to bring over for The Nullarbor.”

The six-year-old boasts an imposing record of 23 wins and 13 placings from 51 starts.

The son of Sweet Lou was the form pacer in Australia 12 months ago, taking out the Group 1 Ballarat Cup (2710m) and Group 1 Schweppes Sprint (1609m).

The Group 1 successes followed wins in the Bendigo Cup (2650m) and Shepparton Cup (2690m).

Bain said Spirit Of St Louis’ versatility would hold him in good stead around the Gloucester Park track.

“He has got gate speed or can use point-to-point speed,” he said.

“It’s important to have that point-to-point speed around Gloucester Park.

“He can lead all the way if he draws to lead, but he doesn’t need barrier one to four to win.

“He probably wouldn’t start favourite if he drew barrier nine, but he would still be one of the key chances.”

Spirit Of St Louis ramps up his Nullarbor preparations in this Saturday’s Group 1 Hunter Cup (2760m), a race he finished second to King Of Swing in last year.

The gelding has drawn barrier one for the $500,000 event and looms as a strong chance to go one better on last year.

Despite bringing over a well-credentialled pacer, Bain said he was under no illusion how hard it would be to beat the local pacers.

“You have to respect the locals,” he said.

“You only have to go back through the Fremantle and Pacing Cup over the last month to see that.

“We want to bring a horse that we know can lead or peel at the 600 from three or four pairs back and win.”

Bain said he expected at least 50 people involved in the slot would be at Gloucester Park for The Nullarbor.

Tim Walker

WATCH - Spirit Of St Louis' last win