Gregers heads Bel Esprit Stakes ballot order

By: Mark Mazzaglia
April 14th, 2015

The Robert Sangster Stakes bound mare Gregers heads the ballot order for the Listed $120,000 Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Gregers heads the ballot order for the Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Gregers heads the ballot order for the Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Gregers will be having her second run this campaign on Saturday after running second to Platelet in the$100,000 Jeep 55 Second Challenge Heat 16 (955m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.

Co-trainer Tom Dabernig is planning for Gregers to peak at her third run back in the Group 1 $400,000 William Hill Classic (Registered as Robert Sangster Stakes) (1200m) at Morphettville on May 2 and be ready for a rematch with Platelet.

Gregers is still a slim chance of facing off with Platelet again this week with the Lindsay Park team of Dabernig and David Hayes also throwing in a nomination for the Group 3 $115,000 R N Irwin Stakes (1100m) at Morphettville on April 18, but early indications are that the mare will go to Caulfield.

“We think Gregers is going as well as she ever has and expect her to run well on Saturday but she’s been targeted to peak third up in the Robert Sangster (Will Hill Classic),” Dabernig told racing.com.

“We were rapt with her first-up run at Moonee Valley where she was just beaten by Platelet.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Platelet, she’s beaten Gregers every time they’ve met but they claimed off Platelet and she had the perfect run and we just were beaten by her.”

Gregers was able to win at Group 3 level during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival when she took out the Group 3 $150,000 W.W. Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and Dabernig believes that the Commands mare has improved following a wind operation.

“We think the wind operation has made an improvement (to her breathing) but then again we’ll see as she gets deeper into her preparation how she copes,” Dabernig said.

“She’s always been a very tough mare that has been always able to race very consistently but interestingly last year she always had a bit of a rough looking coat and this year her coat looks fantastic.

“It’s not always a true guide but nine times out of ten it’s a pretty good guide on a horse’s inner health.”

The Darren Weir trained Platelet looks to have come back in fine form and will prove hard to beat in the Robert Sangster Stakes after winning the fillies and mares weight for age race in 2013 as well as running second to Driefontein in last year’s version.

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