Trainer Jason Warren has revealed that the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in November will be the major spring target for Bel Sprinter.
Bel Sprinter has not been seen at the races since he finished tenth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 10 and has only just returned to Warren’s stable to begin light trackwork after he had throat surgery during his stint in the spelling paddock.
Warren admits that Bel Sprinter was unable to find his best form during his autumn preparation that included starts in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, but he is hoping that the throat surgery and a return to dry tracks will help the son of Bel Esprit find the form that he showed during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“He is going along well,” Warren said.
“He is only a couple of weeks back in work after having a break.
“He will miss the first half of the spring and hopefully just rock up plate.
“He has come on well and he has put on a bit of weight and strengthened up.
“He had a bit more throat surgery following last prep and hopefully with some dry tracks at the end of the spring and some better tracks we can get him back to his good form.
“It was just holding him back a touch, but it was more so the wet tracks last prep that was worrying him.
“He hit wet tracks a few times and barrier one a few times, so it just didn’t work for him.”
Warren is yet to decide when Bel Sprinter will make his return to the races, but at this stage he hopes to give the seven-year-old a couple of starts towards the end of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, so that he is at peak fitness for the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on November.
“He will probably go to Western Australia and run in the Group 1 sprint over there,” Warren said.
“That will be my target at this stage and how we get there, we will just see how he comes up.
“We just have to see how that throat holds up and once he starts galloping we can make a better plan going forward.”
Bel Sprinter has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) in dominant fashion in March last year.