Breednet’s Mark Smith looks at the 2013 The Galaxy.
The most remarkable part of Bel Sprinter’s stunning victory in Saturday’s Group I The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens was not the fact he missed the start and came from last, it was how quickly he passed a slick field of sprinters to earn his first win at the highest level.
It was not unusual for the son of Bel Esprit to miss the start, he has a well-documented history of doing so. But Kerrin McEvoy was not tempted to search for inside runs. He had Bel Sprinter running free down the centre of the track before blasting passed two Golden Slipper placegetters, Snitzerland and Decision Time. The Jason Warren trained 5yo gelding won by a rapidly widening 3-1/4 lengths.
“It was a huge win”, McEvoy said. “He fluffed the start a bit but they ran along and I knew at about the 600 [metres] he hadn’t spent much petrol and when I wound him up he just exploded and maintained it all the way to the line.”
The Mornington based Warren also celebrated his first Group I victory: “I’ve got to pay credit to my vets. This horse has had throat surgery, they’ve fixed him up. He was getting half as much air as he needed,” he said.
“I was disappointed we couldn’t run in the Oakleigh Plate. I know how good he is first-up. We've set him for this.”
Warren said he would take on Black Caviar, in the Group I TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 13.
“Looks like we're staying in Sydney for another two weeks,” Warren said.
With his injury woes, Bel Sprinter has been restricted to just 14 starts. He has won half of them with earnings of $643,825.
A homebred for part-owner Glen Bailey, Bel Sprinter is the first foal of the Snippets mare Gavroche.
Gavroche has a two-year old full-brother to Bel Sprinter, who was purchased by Warren for $140,000 at last year's Magic Millions Yearling sale, but she has not had a mare return put in to the Stud Book for two seasons before being covered by Redoute’s Choice last year.
A half-sister to the stakes-placed Azelna, Gavroche is out of the imported Miswaki mare La Miserable who is a half-sister to the smart import Always Aloof who defeated another import Istidaad in the 1997 Underwood Stakes.
Previously the winner of a Group 3 and a pair of Listed stakes, Bel Sprinter becomes the third Group 1 winner for Bel Esprit after the incomparable Black Caviar and Bel Mer.
The son of Royal Academy covered 129 mares at Eliza Park Stud last season for a fee of $27,500.