Admittedly it was eight days later than it should have been, but Beltrois became stakes winner No. 7 for breeding juggernaut Bel Esprit by capturing the LT Cleary Stakes-LR over 1200m at Caulfield on 9 January.
At his previous start, Beltrois put in a blinder in the Standish Handicap-G3 at Flemington on New Year’s Day, only to finish a neck second to multiple stakes winner Royal Ida.
Bred and trained by Robbie Griffiths, Beltrois has now won five and placed in four from only 12 starts.
Robbie has earmarked the Group One Goodwood Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville in May as a realistic target for this rapidly improving sprinter.
Owned by a great team of people, including Brian and Peter Donohoe, Don Healy and Robbie’s wife Shiranee, Beltrois is out of the Noalcoholic mare Vaingt Trois which has thrown five winners for her trainer, including 7-time winner Ruby Trois.
This is also the family of Golden Slipper and AJC Doncaster winner Tontonan.
Meanwhile, Vaingt Trois is back in foal to Bel Esprit with the resultant progeny to be raced by Robbie and Kevin Sheedy.
By the way, full marks to Robbie Griffiths who not only saluted with Beltrois in the Cleary, but notched up a treble on the day with victories to It’s Prince (race 4) and Rainband (race 8).
From the desk of ANZ Bloodstock News editor, Darryl Sherer, is an edited version of his article “Beltrois Adds To Esprit Momentum”
Last Saturday’s Doveton Stakes resulted in a gritty win for the consistent sprinter Beltrois, who was winning at stakes level for the first time and became the seventh stakeswinner for his sire Bel Esprit.
A Group 1 winner at two and three, Bel Esprit himself was a high-class sprinter, winning five of his six starts at two including the Blue Diamond Stakes and all five of his victories coming at stakes level.
At three Bel Esprit won the Doomben 10,000 and was Group 1 placed in the Newmarket Handicap, Caulfield Guineas, Invitation Stakes and Manikato Stakes.
A son of the much under-rated Royal Academy (USA), Bel Esprit won eight of his 19 races and earned over $2 million.
Pedigree wise he had sufficient credentials to succeed at stud. His sire, Royal Academy, a Group 1 winning sprinter by Nijinsky and closely related to Storm Cat … his dam a daughter of champion sprinter Vain and a half-sister to Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1) winner Mahaasin.
As successful a sire as he has been, Royal Academy is yet to leave an established sire son. Group 1 winners Ali-Royal and Val Royal both sired a good horse each but have proved disappointing at stud. Ihtiram (Ire) was not as good a runner as Ali-Royal or Val Royal but sired the Group 1 sprinter Miss Andretti.
Bel Esprit retired to stud in 2003 and sired Group 1 winner - Bel Mer - from his first-crop. A brilliantly fast filly, Bel Mer won the Robert Sangster Stakes (Gr 1) and three other Listed races. Out of a mare by At Talaq (USA), Bel Mer is inbred 3 x 4 to Vain and this duplication is also seen in Bel Esprit’s unbeaten daughter Black Caviar.
Vain is also seen in the pedigree of Listed winners Mooring (a brother to Bel Mer) and Belcentra while there is also a connection to Beltrois.
Beltrois is inbred 5 x 5 to Orgoglio (GB), a temperamental sprinting son of Nasrullah but a very good sire. Orgoglio stood at stud in Victoria and amongst his many winners as a broodmare sire is Vain.
Bel Esprit’s dam Bespoken boasts an interesting tabulation, being inbred to Mumtaz Mahal while her dam, the New Zealand Group 1 winner Vin d’Amour is inbred to Mumtaz Mahal’s daughter, Rustom Mahal.
Bel Esprit has been extremely popular at stud in 2009, covering over 250 mares and second only to Fastnet Rock by numbers of mares covered.
From four crops of racing age he has already shown himself capable of getting a Group 1 winner and in Black Caviar, he has potentially another.