Sunday, July 10, 2011


On the threshold of a fourth straight Victorian Sires’ title, BEL ESPRIT is capping off a remarkable season with 12 winners in the first 10 days of July.
Among the flurry of winners have been successive Saturday doubles in Melbourne with Bel Sprinter leaving an indelible mark at Moonee Valley on 2 July (along with Mythical Spirit), while Bolisimo Miss and Belfast Boy backed up with another deuce at Flemington on Saturday.
Impressively, Bel Esprit reeled off four winners in less than 24 hours last week when No Respite (Singapore) and Balavan (Sunshine Coast) book ended the Valley double, while in the 48 hour period between Friday night and Sunday evening, the Champion Sire has produced six winners.
First cab off the rank was Thief in the Nite who has now won 10 from 17 in the Philippines, while Saturday brought about a Flemington double with Bolisimo Miss and Belfast Boy, Ibsen’s seventh win in West Australia and a win to Northern Gem at Warracknabeal. Finally, Aranda popped up win No. 5 in thrilling fashion at Penang in Malaysia to end a memorable weekend.
Everything pales by comparison when you the have a World Champion Racehorse in Black Caviar to fly your flag, but it might pay to remember Bel Esprit has produced 105 OTHER winners in Australia this season.
And here’s a couple of other points worth jotting down:
  • Bel Sprinter kept his unbeaten record intact and looks to be on target for spring stakes glory following his slashing win at Moonee Valley, coming from near last on the turn. Reporting in ANZ Bloodstock News, Darryl Sherer enthused: (Bel Sprinter’s) overall time of 59.26 was nothing to get too excited about but it was the manner of performance. Near last passing the 600m Bel Sprinter unleashed a big finish, the visual impact backed up by the watch. Bel Sprinter ran his last 600m in 34.17, last 400m in 22.90 and then hit the line hard with a last 200m in 11.37, wide out on the track on a day when the accepted wisdom was the place to be was in the first three and on the inside. The runner-up General Truce (Brief Truce) is a Group performer and he was good with 59.34 overall, running along the inside in the straight with a final 400m in 22.99 and last 200m in 11.69, which only accentuates the merit of Bel Sprinter, racing for just the second time.
  • After a troubled run on debut in January, 2YO Bolisimo Miss has now won three on end : first up at Cranbourne and now successive wins at Flemington. Her victory at Flemington on 25 June was even more meritorious given her tendency to lay out over the concluding stages, yet to win by more than two lengths. “She’s had three starts for the prep for three wins and proved to us she is probably up to spring class,” co-trainer Simon Zahra said after her 9 July Flemington score.
  • Mythical Spirit led all the way at Moonee Valley, notching up 27 wins at the course for Bel Esprit progeny. A Bel Esprit wins once every six starts at the Valley and it’s been a happy hunting ground for Black Caviar, winning four of her starts at the track, and also for La Bella Roo (overall winner), Waltzes and Esprit du Bullet which ran the three fastest heats in the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge this season.


While Black Caviar became the first horse to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships following her win in the TJ Smith-G1 at Randwick in April (a leg of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series), it’s also recently been announced that her sire Bel Esprit is now a Breeders’ Cup nominated stallion.
Henceforth, any of Bel Esprit’s progeny will now be eligible to race in the Breeders’ Cup series. It might seem a pipe dream, but Paul Makin would certainly have appreciated it if Soviet Star had been a nominated stallion when Starcraft made his bid for Breeders’ Cup glory in 2005, costing his owner $400,000 for the privilege!

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