Unable to make an impact over five race starts through the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival, trainer Jason Warren has revealed Group 1 champion Bel Sprinter will be geared towards an appearance in the featured Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Western Australia’s Ascot Racecourse in November.
Returning to racing in 2014 with high hopes of another standout preparation, Warren was dissatisfied with Bel Sprinter’s approach to competition over autumn; most notably his newly-formed habit of loading into the barriers poorly and beginning without focus.
Returning to the spelling paddock following a disappointing performance for tenth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at South Australia’s Morphettville Racecourse on May 10th, Warren said he will begin the Bel Esprit gelding’s preparation in Melbourne and will target events involving a bend.
“He’s very good on dry track and I’d like to give him a run in Melbourne and then take him over there,” Warren said of Bel Sprinter’s likely trip to Perth.
“He’s better off around a bend rather than down the straight.”
A standout performer over the 2013 racing calendar, Bel Sprinter charged home to win the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) by nearly four lengths from classy mare Snitzerland first-up before finishing a fighting third behind equine superstar Black Caviar in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) just two weeks later.
Heading abroad, the gelding out of Gavroche secured a career highlight when second to Lucky Nine in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) at Singapore’s Kranji Racecourse in May.
Unable to secure another race win over three starts at Group 1 level through spring, Bel Sprinter finished ninth in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up this year, and while appearing to build in form when finishing fourth amongst strong company in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m), reverted back to less-than-impressive form in both the Galaxy and the T.J. Smith Stakes.
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