Coyle implements back-up plan for Spirit

Promising filly St Covet's Spirit.
St Covet’s Spirit will be chasing a consolation win after missing a Dark Jewel Classic start.

The Scone carnival delivered a mixed bag for trainer Jason Coyle, whose disappointment at missing an opportunity for St Covet’s Spirit was tempered by a form boost.

Coyle was keen to run the two-time stakes placegetter in the Group Three Dark Jewel Classic last Saturday but she did not make the field.

However, St Covet’s Spirit’s Hawkesbury Guineas conqueror Dawn Passage franked her form with an impressive victory in the Inglis 3YO Guineas on the same card to rocket into Stradbroke Handicap calculations.

“I would have liked to gain a start in that Dark Jewel last week. I think it was a nice race for her, two weeks between runs over 1400 (metres),” Coyle said.

“This is obviously Plan B going the extra week between runs and back to the 1200.

“It’s not always great to go back to your Plan B but she looks quite well placed in the race.”

Coyle’s back-up plan is the Sky Racing Active Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday when St Covet’s Spirit drops back to benchmark racing but takes on older mares.

While the three-year-old has a brace of Group Three placings and a fourth in the Group One Flight Stakes, she remains stranded on one win from 11 starts.

In any other year, St Covet’s Spirit would be a likely candidate for the Brisbane winter carnival but with options there reduced due to the coronavirus, Coyle can see the benefit of staying in Sydney.

“She would have been the sort of filly I definitely would have thought about it with,” Coyle said.

“But she has also only won one race so I’d like to get another couple of wins on the board before she goes back into that (stakes races), possibly as a four-year-old spring horse.”