Although, understandably, much of the focus centred on Black Caviar’s victory in the Schillaci at Caulfield, it’s worth noting that her sire BEL ESPRIT registered a treble yesterday with 2YO debutant Bel Franc (Morphettville) and Ripa Artois (Pakenham) also registered victories for Victoria’s Champion Sire.
Indeed, during the past week Bel Esprit has produced six winners (four in the past two days), six seconds and three thirds.
Belfast Boy (from the Bureaucracy mare Fast Dolly) got the ball rolling with a solid win at Morphettville last Saturday – his second in town and third overall from just eight outings.
Bred by TROA Chairman Andrew Lafontaine and Peter McVean, Belfast Boy hails from the family of UK Champ Brigadier Gerard and the 3YO clearly has a big future.
Bon Marche (from Bubble Gum Fellow mare Sunday Bliss) maintained the momentum on Monday when he grabbed his third win at Geelong (also a winner at Moonee Valley).
Bred and part owned by Paul Leeds, Bon Marche hails from a solid black type family.
Bendigo winner, Chatrang, heralded a memorable weekend and is clearly improving with each run: running third on debut, a second last start and now a winner.
Red Star Thoroughbreds, which bred Chatrang from its Exploding Prospect mare Regal Prospect, has retained part ownership of the lightly raced 4YO which is trained at Cranbourne by Robbie Griffiths.
Michael Phillips has taken it one step further with the promising Ripa Artois having bred, part-owning and training the 3YO sprinter.
Having just his second start (after finishing second at Sale on debut), Ripa Artois scored well over 1000m at Pakenham and he too appears to have a decent future ahead of him.
Out of the Zabeel mare Zartois, Ripa Artois’ third dam is the Japan Cup winner Horlicks, dam of Melbourne Cup winner Brew.
Rounding out Saturday’s triumvirate is the exciting prospect Bel Franc who won the previously Listed Fulham Park Plate at Morphettville and is trained on the track by Lloyd Kennewell and part-owned by breeder Oliver Renfrew.
Bel Franc is from the Grosvenor mare, Lady Franc, a half sister to Group One winner Western Red and was sold at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale by Eliza Park.
While they may have de-listed the Fulham, the convincing nature of Bel Franc’s victory would indicate he will add to Bel Esprit’s rapidly burgeoning tally of 10 stakes winners!