Appearing to have returned to racing in competitive form this season following a forgettable run through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, trainer Jason Warren is confident Group 1 winner Bel Sprinter is capable of success in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse on November 22nd but will require a wide barrier draw.
Charging home to tie with classy mare Miracles Of Life in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) first-up on October 18th, Bel Sprinter jumped poorly in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) last time out and was unable to quite recover enough when finding the line in sixth.
Noted for his inability to co-operate in the barriers, Warren said he is hopeful the Bel Esprit gelding will be loaded late when lining up for the Winterbottom Stakes and is confident his recent work and form points towards a competitive performance.
“If the horse is in the barriers too long, he will miss it,” Warren told TVN.
“We just don’t want to draw barrier one, two or three so he’s not in there too long. I’d be happy with the outside gate so he gets loaded last.
“It’s well worth taking the horse to Perth – firm track, around a bend and weight-for-age.
“He worked super today on the course proper, up against the rail.
“Ben Melham rode him and he was pleased, so it’s full steam ahead.”
Claiming an impressive record of eight wins and a further three minor places from just 26 competitive appearances on course so far, Bel Sprinter arguably hit peak form over the 2013 Autumn Carnival; charging home to win the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) first-up before running a credible third behind equine superstar Black Caviar in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m); returning to the paddock following an impressive run for second in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) in Singapore.
Unable to make an impact over five competitive starts in autumn, Bel Sprinter is currently available at a generous quote of $11 for success in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes; sharing the fifth line of betting with Barakey and Driefontein with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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