It’s been a busy few days for Bel Esprit progeny with Victoria’s Champion Sire notching up a ‘north end’ treble on Saturday (5 June) and a win on Friday at Echuca with Fifth Elephant.
Firstly to Echuca where Brian Donohoe asks the question what happened to the first four elephants after Fifth Elephant ran more like a gazelle than his namesake, taking out the Brandrick Architect Fillies & Mares Maiden Plate over 1000m by 5.5 lengths.
Out of the Danehill mare Conte Partiro, second starter Fifth Elephant was bred (and is owned) by CE Holt and trained by Peter Moody who also used to put the polish on the well bred San Mateo, out of the Lord Seymour mare, Zippast, dam of seven winners including 2YO stakes winner Firenza.
San Mateo, now in the hands of Shane Iverson, proved too nifty at the Queensland track of Tambo – around 864kms from Brisbane – winning at unbackable odds.
Meanwhile, some 3,378kms west of Tambo, Bel Esprit No. 2 led the way with an easy three length frolic at Broome.
Ibsen – by winning over 1100m in WA’s famous coastal port – notched up his fourth career victory, having raced successfully in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
The most notable win on Saturday, however, was that of Aranda, who registered a terrific win for Stephen Gray in Singapore. Singapore Turf Club’s Craig Brennan takes up the story:
A multitude of gear changes paved the way for Aranda breaking back into winning form in the $55,000 Class 4 Div. 3 Stakes over 1400m at Kranji.
Following his last start on 7 May, trainer Stephen Gray elected to remove the blinkers, tongue tie and special bit from Aranda’s raceday gear.
Going to the front from the outset, Aranda (below), ridden by Vlad Duric, held on to score over Monterey with Santana third.
Following his last start fourth, Aranda was sent back to the barrier trials after playing up at the start and it was then that Gray decided to remove all the gelding’s gear.
“He can be a bit of a handful at the barriers, so we just took all the gear off,” said Gray. “He was nice and quiet and Vlad suggested we leave him without the gear again this time.
“He possibly should have won last time except for playing up at the start, but he was nice and relaxed in front today and hung on bravely for a good win.”
A 4YO Australian-bred, Aranda is by Bel Esprit from the Centro mare Orchid Lady and has now won three of his 15 starts for Northwest Racing, amassing around $125,000 in prizemoney.