The Hong Kong double for Bel Esprit last week has again served to highlight the impact Victoria’s Champion Sire is having in South East Asia.
Notching up a comfortable win with Blue Sky at Sha Tin on 31 January, Bel Esprit struck again the following Wednesday (3 February) when Bondi Lad swooped at Happy Valley.
Indeed, since the start of the Hong Kong racing season (September), four Bel Esprits have competed in the colony with Blue Sky and Bondi Lad coming up trumps, while Sparkling ran a smart second at Sha Tin at the end of December and Apex ran fourth on debut on 24 January.
Stakes placed in Australia (beaten a long neck in the Gothic Stakes-LR), Blue Sky was sent to the stable of Caspar Fownes in June 2008 where he has since recorded two wins and four placings.
Eliza Park’s head breaker, Darren Mackereth remembers Blue Sky well, breaking in the colt on behalf of leading Caulfield trainer Ross McDonald (Darren also broke in Horse of the Year, Weekend Hussler, for Ross).
Bred by Eliza Park, Blue Sky is the only foal to race out of the Supremo mare Aquatint, a half sister to Group One winning 2YO Rhythmic Charm (dam of multiple stakes placed Sports Freak), Group One placed Greenstone Charm and Rulings, dam of 3-time stakes winner Universal Ruler.
Eliza Park will sell a General Nediym half sister to Blue Sky (Lot 292) at the 2010 Australian Easter Yearling Sale on 7 April, one of three Eliza Park entries for Australasia’s premier sales event.
To view a replay of Blue Sky’s win at Sha Tin click here
Bondi Lad (below) was equally impressive at Happy Valley, scoring his second win in Hong Kong after holding off all challengers from the top of the straight.
Bred by Brian Forrest and Roger Nathanielsz, Bondi Lad was sold through Eliza Park’s 2007 Sydney Classic Yearling draft to Jason Warren who won a trial with the colt before the horse was re-located to Hong Kong.
Out of the Geiger Counter mare, Bondi Lass, Bondi Lad is closely related to Group One winner and sire Tolomeo.
And to view Bondi Lad’s gutsy win, click here
Interestingly, Jason Warren is also the trainer of Danbird 3YO Burgley who had his first start at Kyneton on 31 January, running an encouraging third and beaten less than a length.
Darren Mackereth reports Burgley broke in very well at Eliza Park … as did his 2YO half sister by Bel Esprit and, evidently, there is Bel Esprit yearling colt waiting in the wings.
Bred and owned by long time clients, Brian and Heather Walker, Burgley is the first foal of Nine Carat mare, Helen’s Fortune.