Group 1 winner Bel Sprinter has been included in the nominations for both the 2015 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night and the 2015 Hareeba Stakes at Mornington on Saturday, but trainer Jason Warren has revealed that he is leaning towards running his star galloper in the Group 1 event.
Warren told RSN that he is key to run Bel Sprinter on his home track on Mornington Cup Day, but the seven-year-old has been allocated the top weight of 60 kilograms by Racing Victoria handicappers and the rising trainer believes that could prove too tough a task for the veteran sprinter.
“He has won at both tracks and it will just come down to weighing up the opposition and the weights,” Warren said.
“It would be nice to have him in the feature race on Mornington Cup Day, but he might just be better placed at weight-for-age because of the high rating that he has got.
“We will look at it closely today and make a decision on it.”
Bel Sprinter stamped himself as one of the leading sprinters in the world during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival when he won the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) in dominant fashion before he finished in the placings in both the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m), but he has been unable to replicate that form since.
The Bel Esprit gelding was never able to get into the race when he finished ninth behind Shamal Wind in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28, but Warren is happy with the way that Bel Sprinter has come through the race and is confident that he will perform well when he contests either the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) or the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) this weekend.
“He is in terrific order,” Warren said.
“He was a little bit disappointing first-up in the Oakleigh Plate, but in saying that he got bad in an oddly run race and his closing sectionals were really good.
“We are still upbeat about the way that he is going and I am looking forward to running him either Friday or Saturday.
“You wouldn’t think that he is the age that he is because he is bouncing around and very happy.
“We popped him over a couple of jumps yesterday and he is full of himself.
“He is a sound horse and there is no reason to slow down at this stage.”
Bel Sprinter is currently available at 2015 William Reid Stakes odds of $21 with Ladbrokes, while Angelic Light ($4.80) is a narrow favourite from Rebel Dane ($5.50), Peron $7), Vain Queen ($8), Famous Seamus ($9) and Trust In A Gust ($9).