While unlucky to be blocked for a run late and sixth in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) last time out on November 1st, trainer Jason Warren has revealed he is thrilled with the continually building form of Bel Sprinter ahead of his appearance in Saturday’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse.
A Group 1 winner having comfortably taken out the 2013 edition of The Galaxy (1100m), Bel Sprinter was unable to figure over four disappointing autumn starts this year, but more than raised his claims for a trip west and Winterbottom Stakes berth when displaying a keen turn of foot to win the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) first-up this time.
Revealing the Bel Esprit gelding had thrown a shoe in the final straight of the Salinger Stakes last time out, Warren revealed the seven-year-old took particularly well to his trip to Perth and is primed for a return to the Group 1 winner’s circle in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes.
“He threw a shoe off on Derby Day in the last couple of hundred metres which shortened his stride a bit,” Warren told AAP.
“His late sectionals were excellent after missing the start and his foot is fine now.
“I’m really happy with him. He had his final gallop last Thursday before he left.
“He will just have a bit of striding work on Wednesday which will pretty much be him until the race.”
Securing a commendable race record of eight wins and a further three minor places from his 26 competitive appearances on track so far, Bel Sprinter undoubtedly found career-best form over the 2013 Autumn Carnival; following up his Galaxy triumph with a credible third to equine superstar Black Caviar in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) in April and returning to the paddock following an impressive performance for second in the Group 1 International Sprint (1200m) at Singapore’s Kranji Racecourse.
Charged with carrying 58.5kgs over the 1200m course, Bel Sprinter is currently available at generous odds of $11 for success in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes or $3.40 to figure in the places with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
The barrier draw for the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes is due to be completed at released on Tuesday evening.
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