Eliza Park based Bel Esprit is on track to record his best ever season as a sire with his flagship performer Black Caviar primed for her return to the track.
Clinton Payne of Racenet reported that the undefeated superstar won an unofficial trial at Caulfield on Tuesday morning by ‘about 15’ lengths which satisfied her trainer Peter Moody.
“She went nice, she just cruised around and had a good gallop,” Moody said.
“She was about 15 in front of them hard held.
“I’m happy with her.”
Black Caviar will resume from a spell in the $750,000 Group One Lightning Stakes over 1000 metres at Flemington on Saturday week and from there, her trainer is eyeing off as many as five other Group One contests for the daughter of Bel Esprit, including the Newmarket Handicap “depending on the weights” at Flemington three weeks later.
Other Group Ones that could feature Black Caviar are the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 25, the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 9 and the BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14, Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28.
Bel Esprit is currently running sixth on the Leading Australian Sires List by individual winners with 71 to his credit whose earnings top $2.7 million, which has him in 13th place on the Leadings Australian Sires List by earnings.
The son of Royal Academy (USA) was the popular pick in Victoria back in the EI year of 2007 and as a result has a whopping crop of more than 190 live foals conceived from that year that are now two year-olds.
Only four of them have raced so far for one winner, but expect the weight of numbers there to kick in during the latter part of this season and next, so there is every reason to think Bel Esprit is riding the crest of a growing wave.
His yearlings have been in limited supply at the sales so far this year with the majority to be offered at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale with 15 set to go under the hammer by the sire of the best sprinter in the world in Black Caviar.
One ‘return’ to racing that seemed to fly under the radar was the trial of True Persuasion at Cranbourne on Monday morning, winning his 800m hit out by a comfortable three lengths.
Owned and bred by long-time Eliza Park client, Marianne Smart and trained at Caulfield by Mick Price, True Persuasion has always shown above average ability, but really blossomed in the spring with a second to Hay List in the Group One Manikato and a third behind Black Caviar in the Schweppes-G2 (ran into a couple of good ones in those races!), but was sadly galloped on and finished well back at Flemington on Cup Day.
From the look of his trial at Cranbourne though, he’s none the worse for wear and keep your eye out for him throughout the carnival.
Others to record trial wins at Cranbourne were GOD’S OWN’s 2YO filly Manor Lady (trained on the track by Robbie Griffiths) and another promising Bel Esprit 2YO in City of Song trained by John Moloney.
Manor Lady has shown considerable promise in two starts to date (a third in the in the $250,000 Inglis 2YO at Moonee Valley and stakes fourth at Flemington on Cup Day) and Eliza Park will sell a Shinzig half sister [Lot 588] at next month’s Melbourne Premier.
Eliza Park will also be offering a Magnus half brother to City of Song [Lot 287] from the Flemington stakes winner Songs of Vienna.