Newmarket Handicap Hopes Kept Alive For Bel Sprinter

By: Sarah Fortnum
March 6th, 2012

Bel Sprinter has been given the all clear to compete in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington this weekend.

The four-year-old gelding was in doubt for the $1 million race after sustaining an abrasion to his offside rear cannon bone.

Bel Sprinter sustained the injury while playing up in his stalls last weekend.

Trainer Jason Warren was relieved when the four-year-old was cleared to run by a Racing Victoria veterinarian at Mornington earlier tday.

“He’s just got a superficial mark on the outside of a hind leg and we covered it up in pretty much the same wrap that he’ll have to wear on race day,” Warren said.

“He stretched out lovely in it.”

Warren insists that Bel Sprinter will not be disadvantaged in this weekend’s Newmarket Handicap.

“Ben Melham rode him this morning and was very happy with his work and it’s all systems go at this stage,” he said.

“He hasn’t missed any work at all.

“He had a trot and canter yesterday and worked a solid gallop this morning.

“We didn’t miss him and he came through that with flying colours and looked good.”

Bel Sprinter will be looking to improve on his unexpected sixth place finish in the Oakleigh Plate last start.

The Bel Esprit gelding has won an incredible five of his seven career starts and has earned more than $260,000 in prize money.

The gelding won his first-up start this campaign in the Listed WJ Adams Stakes, which he won by an entire length.

Bel Sprinter’s best victory to date was in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington in September last year.

Despite his clearance to be part of the Newmarket final field, Bel Sprinter will have to undergo another veterinary check before his race at Flemington this Saturday.

The race will be just Bel Sprinter’s second attempt at Group 1 level.

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