Exciting Tasmanian 2YO, Strike The Tiger, has become the ninth individual stakes winners for Bel Esprit – and his third since the start of January.
Bred by Dr Vu Van Tu and Amanda Lockett, Strike The Tiger captured the Gold Sovereign Stakes-LR at Launceston yesterday (14 February).
This is how ANZ Bloodstock saw the race:
Spreyton trainer Michael Trinder has built a reputation as a master conditioner of gallopers and lightly framed two-year-old Strike The Tiger (Bel Esprit) is the latest to benefit from his training methods.
Strike The Tiger kept his unbeaten record intact when he led all the way to win the $150,000 Gold Sovereign Stakes over 1200m in Launceston.
With Victorian jockey Dean Yendall aboard, Strike The Tiger showed his customary early speed to find the rails but he was kept company to the home turn by the heavily backed favourite Cuddles For Naara that looked to be cruising when they straightened for the run home.
But every time Cuddles For Naara put it to Strike The Tiger the gelding responded and eventually went on to score by almost two lengths from Cuddles For Naara with Gathering Gold over two lengths astern.
Strike The Tiger (Bel Esprit - Bonnie Lassy) is owned by Vu Tu and his wife Amanda Lockett-Tu.
Trinder said Strike The Tiger had always shown above average ability. “He might be small but he is very athletic and has a lot of courage,” Trinder said. “He swam seven laps of the pool this morning and that’s not strange to his workload so I was confident he would be strong when it counted,” he said.
Trinder, who is probably best known as a master trainer of hurdlers, is no stranger to success with two-year-olds as he prepared Vodka to win the 1990 Gold Sovereign Stakes.
“I’d rate this horse on a par with Vodka and he went on to win nine from 10 as a two and three-year-old,” he said.