Jason Coyle still isn’t sure if he made the right call to bypass the spring carnival with St Covet’s Spirit but he will feel better about his decision if she can put some wins on the board.
Given the mare already has residual value as a two-time stakes placegetter, Coyle decided to target the off-season races to boost her strike rate, which stands at one victory from 14 starts.
But as he watched the Golden Eagle unfold in October, Coyle began to wonder what might have been.
The two horses St Covet’s Spirit split in the Group Three Hawkesbury Guineas in April, Dawn Passage and Icebath, filled the placings in the $7.5 million race.
“Anytime in Sydney is not easy but we made that decision to miss the carnival,” Coyle said.
“When I saw Icebath come out and place in the Golden Eagle I was kicking myself. It’s a big prize money race and you frank that form and she’s (St Covet’s Spirit) thereabouts.”
Adding salt to the wound, St Covet’s Spirit has come up with barrier 16 for her second-up assignment in Saturday’s Quincy Seltzer Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill.
She will start from 13 if the five emergencies don’t run but Coyle will wait until race morning to decide if she takes her place.
His sole focus is to get her back in the winner’s circle and if that happens, races like the Belle Of The Turf Stakes at Gosford will be on the radar, along with a Sydney autumn carnival campaign.
Coyle is optimistic the best is still ahead for St Covet’s Spirit judging by her more settled demeanour.
“She’s a stronger horse but the main thing I’m looking for is a mental change,” he said.
“As a younger horse, especially as a spring three-year-old, she could be really aggressive, grab the bridle and make jockeys’ jobs really difficult but the work we’ve done with her, hopefully now it pays dividends with her as she gets older.”
Coyle will also saddle up last-start winner Mo’s Crown in the Members Christmas Handicap (1100m) and Maui Girl, who resumes in the final race.