GUTSY Warrnambool mare Spirit Song is facing some big challenges over the next few weeks, including a trip to Perth, but her trainer Aaron Purcell believes she will measure up.
Purcell’s bid to cement Spirit Song as one of Australia’s top racing mares kicks off at Moonee Valley tomorrow when she lines up in a $150,000 group 3 1600-metre event. Purcell is weighing up his options for the five-year-old over the rich Flemington four-day carnival, including the $500,000 group 1 Myer Classic (1600 metres), $1 million group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000 metres) on November 3 and $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600 metres) on November 10.
Purcell’s Perth plans extend to a start in the $1 million group 1 Railway Stakes (1600 metres) on November 24, which could be followed up with a run in the $500,000 group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800 metres) on December 8. Both races are run at Ascot.
“I could not be any happier with Spirit Song,” he said. “Her last start effort to run second in the Toorak Handicap was the best run of her career.
“We’re going to the Valley pretty confident that she will run well again on Saturday. She’s gone up a lot in weight but come down in class. I’m still trying to sort out which race we’ll run her in at the Flemington carnival. We should have a clearer picture for Flemington after Saturday’s run.”
Purcell said Spirit Song deserved a crack at the rich races in Perth.
“She’s proven herself to be one of the most consistent mares in Australia. If she happens to win one of the big feature races whether that be at Flemington or in Perth she will go to another level,’’ he said.
“Her value as a brood mare will increase dramatically if she can take the next step of winning a group one race.”