Smart Melbourne four year old Bel Sprinter has overcome a minor leg injury and will head to Sydney for the remainder of the Autumn Carnival.
Trainer Jason Warren will avoid a clash with super horse Hay List in the Group 1 $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23 and instead will line up in the $100,000 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill the day after.
Warren wants to keep his stable star to handicap races for the remainder of the Autumn and once he performs successfully at the top level will then step him up to weight for age races.
“I don’t think we should be running against Hay List at weight-for-age,” Warren said.
“I’m happy for him to run against Hay List in a handicap but I would rather he win a Group One handicap before we try and have a crack at weight-for-age at that level.”
Bel Sprinter was scratched from the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday on race morning after sustaining a slight leg injury early in the week and Warren didn’t want to risk him if he wasn’t one hundred per cent.
“He just wasn’t right the other day and I wasn’t going to take the risk,” Warren said.
“There was only a tiny bit of heat there but you’ve got to be 110 per cent for the big races.”
The Bel Esprit gelding started his Autumn campaign in outstanding fashion with a first up win in the Listed $100,000 United Arab Emirates Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 4.
He then went into the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25 challenging Sepoy for favouritism only to finish sixth to Woorim after being held up in the straight.
Warren has selected the Group 3 $125,000 Sebring Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on April 7 as his lead into the Group 1 $350,000 The Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick on April 21.
Former New Zealand premier rider Lisa Cropp has quit Melbourne racing to take up a three month riding contract in Turkey.
Cropp had her last ride in Australia on the Mike Moroney three year old African Pulse in the Newmarket Handicap last Saturday finishing ninth to Hay List and returned to New Zealand before heading off to Turkey.
Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey visited Turkey five years ago and was impressed with what he saw, especially in Instanbul where the racing was on the improve.