HE’S endured too much disappointment over too many years chasing his Queanbeyan Cup dream to get too far ahead of himself.
But it’s clear Queanbeyan trainer Mick Smith can’t help but get excited over the Cup prospects of classy runner Street Spirit.
Last Sunday saw Street Spirit take out the $15,000 Defence Force Cup over 2000m at Queanbeyan.
For Smith, the win was the perfect preparation as he looks to set the seven-year-old for a tilt at Queanbeyan’s biggest race – next month’s Cup.
“The logical stepping stone to the Queanbeyan Cup for us was winning [on Sunday],” Smith said.
“Four or five months ago she won a race in Canberra and we tipped her out for a spell the next day and came back with a plan to win the Defence Force Cup and then the Queanbeyan Cup.
“So we’ve successfully achieved part one of our two-part plan.”
A noted trainer of stayers, Queanbeyan Cup success has so far eluded Smith, despite his many attempts at bringing the prize back to his McCrae Street stables.
“I’ve thrown a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of horses at it and I’ve never been successful so there will be beers and cheers if we can succeed one day,” Smith said.
“I thought [Street Spirit] was a winning chance last year and she looked like a winner before another horse ran out of steam and basically stopped in front of her which knocked her out of the race.
“Just to my eyes though, she looks the best she’s ever looked right now. We’ve been really happy with her work and I think she’s a live Cup chance.”
Following Sunday’s win, Smith admitted he was still wrestling with what to do next with the Street Cry sired mare in the lead up to the Cup which will run on October 27.
Street Spirit has typically underperformed away from Queanbeyan throughout her career, recently running dead last twice in a row at Goulburn.
“I’m half inclined to just keep her at home and do nothing with her for the next five weeks,” Smith said.
“I’ll have to have a look at what’s around and make a decision but the problem is she races so much better in Queanbeyan than anywhere else.
“I could take here somewhere else but to be honest, it’d only be for a run.”
Fellow Queanbeyan trainer Neville Layt also enjoyed success on his home track last Sunday with Cavalar taking out the Maiden Plate over 900m.