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Image: Steve Hart
Spirit Ridge scored a hard fought win in the January Cup at Randwick

Massively improved import SPIRIT RIDGE (Nathaniel-Tates Creek) won a fast run, hard fought $150,000 January Cup at Randwick, earning himself a shot at the Gr 1 Sydney Cup.

This, according to his happy trainer Mark Newnham after he just outstayed his rivals to win today’s 2000m Cup by a length from the tough as nails WOLFE (Novelist-Peace Of The World) and MR MARATHON MAN (So You Think-Marie des Fleurs).

“Look, he’s so honest and has enormous staying qualities which you could see when they turned for home and he had to sprint. So I’ll put him out for a little while and come back for the Manion Cup and then the Sydney Cup.

“I think he’s up to that and he should stay the trip.”

Spirit Ridge only has had 13 starts but he’s now won five of them with four second placings and $258,224 in stakes.

That’s a lightly raced horse on the rise.

His last start was at Randwick in similar circumstances when he won the 2000m Summer Cup.

Connections will need to devote a room just for his trophies if Newnham’s predictions keep happening.

Robbie Dolan rode the winner and he rode him like the best horse.

“I knew there would be a lot of speed with Wolfe and Gone By drawn inside me but I didn’t have to worry as he just ran up and put himself into the gun spot behind them.

“I thought I may have been caught napping when Laure Me In came up and past us on the bend but he is so tough and was clearly the best horse in the race,” said Dolan.

The 2021 Sydney Cup is on in March and is run over 3200m.

It’s worth $1.5million.

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