Winner of St Leger Carlisle Cruiser looks to Southern Cross heats
A PERFECT return has thrust Carlisle Cruiser into early favouritism for next month’s Southern Cross.
First-up for 10 weeks when making an appearance at Globe Derby during the weekend, Carlisle Cruiser extended his undefeated status for the season by capturing the St Leger.
Boasting five wins for the term, the son of A Rocknroll Dance is likely to have “another start or two” before heats of the futurity begin on November 26.
“The Southern Cross is where we are heading,” trainer George Smith said. “Whatever I do with him for the next few weeks will be based around having him at his peak for the opening heats.
“The Sires’ Produce in a couple of weeks looks like a suitable race for him, so that’s most likely going to be his next start.
“It’s also two weeks before the heats, so it is well spaced and gives me a chance to work on his first at home.”
With Michael Smith – no relation – in the cart, Carlisle Cruiser enjoyed the ideal one-one trail as Ever Hoping led and Monsieur Steel worked in the ‘death seat’.
Taken three-wide leaving the back straight, Carlisle Cruiser sustained a strong sprint to score by a half-neck from the pacemaker.
Art Jester was two metres away third in 1:58.6 over 2230 metres.
“I was very happy with his run,” Smith said. “He was always going to be vulnerable first-up, but Michael drove him a treat.
“He showed plenty of fight up the straight and will be a lot better for it next time around.”
Story: HRSA Media
Photo: Walter Bulyga