Trainer Jason Warren is confident that Bel Sprinter is ready to fire in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield next Saturday after the Group 1 winner won a barrier trial at Cranbourne this morning.
Bel Sprinter competed in the second trial of the day over 800 metres and recorded a comfortable win over a strong field, which included Flamberge, Kuroshio, Montsegur and Go The Knuckle, in the second fastest time of the day.
Warren told TVN that jockey Matthew Allen said he was delighted with the feel he received from Bel Sprinter and believes that the son of Bel Esprit is close to the form that saw him win the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) in dominant fashion during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“The plan a couple of weeks ago was to only have a quiet trial; he is a big, gross horse who needs a couple of trials,” Warren said.
“This time last year when he was getting ready for the Galaxy he had a soft trial and then we took him to Sydney and we gave him a hard one like we gave him today and a week later he was ready.
“It’s pretty much the same this year; Matt Allen trialed him here last year for me before he went to Sydney and he said the horse is going just as good.”
Bel Sprinter went on to finish third behind equine superstar Black Caviar and Epaulette in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) after his victory in The Galaxy and was second behind champion Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine in the Group 1 International Sprint (1200m) in Singapore, but was unable to replicate that form during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The six-year-old finished sixth after missing the start in both the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, but had no excuses when eighth behind Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
Leading Melbourne jockey Michael Rodd has been booked to ride Bel Sprinter in the Oakleigh Plate and is chasing his first win in the race after finishing in the placings with Here De Angels (second behind Starspangledbanner in 2010) and Suit (third behind Reactive in 2004).