St Covet's Spirit takes Flight steps with Canterbury win

Jason Coyle’s St Covet’s Spirit over ran the field of maiden three-year-old’s in the $50,000, Everest Carnival Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury on Wednesday changing the complexion of the race in the final strides.

St Covet’s Spirit and Kathy O’Hara were at the rear of the field and requiring lengths to make up as they turned for the run home with Cock Match and Bollywood leading.

The leaders kept up their duel through the 300m and then 200m before they started to tire with the effort. Vienna Rain (57,5kg) and Adam Hyeronimus arrived to take over, swiftly followed by Astralis (55.5kg) and Brenton Avdulla and the race order looked settled.

However, behind them all O’Hara was weaving a passage through the field with St Covet’s Spirit (54.5kg) and the Uncle Mo filly had lengthened very well picking up the leaders in the final strides to snatch a neck win going away.

Astralis (Sebring) and Avdulla had to settle for second with Vienna Rain (Manhattan Rain) and Hyeronimus third, the margin a 1/2L. Cock Match was fourth and Bollywood fifth.

The time was 1.13.52 on the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 36.59.  St Coverts Spirit paid $12.00 on fixed odds and $11.50 on the tote. The $3.10 favourite Papal Warrior again disappointed tailing off to finish 10th.

“I have had an opinion of her for awhile now and hoping that she is the type of filly who will stretch out over a bit of ground later on. At the moment she can do things wrong when she is fresh and she is a bit keen, she has shown that a couple of times, but today the speed was right on and she was lovely and relaxed,” said O’Hara.

“Getting to the corner she needed a lot of luck and still had plenty to do, but I not done any work, I was just poking along out the back. She got the runs through and she quickened really well.”

Coyle confirmed the stable’s opinion of the filly and he said that the biggest query was the distance.

“She just could not keep up early, she is looking for a mile and hopefully she can make a nice grade,” he said.

“We put a nomination in for the mile Group 1, so obviously she will have to progress from here, but I think she can do it. She is a lovely frame of a horse and she will probably be better in the autumn.”

The ‘mile Group  1’ is the $500,000, Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 5th.

St Covert’s Spirit, out of the St Covert mare St Covert Girl, was starting for the fifth time and the win and a third have earned stakes of $47,760 for owner and breeder Mr G Rapisarda.

Everest Carnival Handicap, photo finish picture ATC