Saturday’s treble for Bel Esprit (below) prompted a question as to the number of multiples that Victoria’s perennial champ has notched up throughout his career.
And who better to ask than the keeper of all things Bel … Brian Donohoe.
With the victory of Hot Lover at Morphettville and a Wangaratta pair via Half His Luck and Summers Day, Saturday became treble No. 35 for Bel Esprit – the first of his three peats coming on Melbourne Cup day 2008 when Esprit de Roses, La Bella Roo and Lotsa Grunt all duly saluted.
Amazingly, Bel Esprit can also lay claim to no less than 127 daily doubles in the past five seasons, kicking off with deuce on 1 September 2007 when Gabbidon (who won the Group Three Guineas Prelude at his next start) scored at Caulfield, while fellow first cropper, Snip Esprit, grabbed the money at Morphettville. Trained by John Symons and Sheila Laxon (John put the polish on Bel Esprit throughout his illustrious career), it was Snip Esprit’s first win that day … and some $200k later, the evergreen sprinter is still racing!
The first of five quaddies landed on 5 June 2010 with Ibsen winning in West Australia, San Mateo in Queensland, Aranda in Singapore and Thief in the Night in the Philippines, while Bel Esprit has twice registered five winners on the day – the first on 4 September last year with Undercurrent and Spirit of Pompeii in Victoria, Peaceful Warrior and Zac Warrior in Singapore and Divine in downtown Manila.
However, Bel Esprit’s best to date was on 1 November 2011 with no less than six of his runners getting the money in five different states: Ysmael (WA), The Toppie and Esprit Citi (NSW), Mattymac (VIC), Sandhill Pride (QLD) and Hot Lover (SA).
That’s some record keeping … that’s some record!