While far from declaring them the winner, Mornington-based horseman Jason Warren is excited about the race return of his speedster Bel Sprinter in Saturday’s 2013 BMW Galaxy at Rosehill.
The Bel Esprit gelding, now five, enjoyed a strong start to their career winning their opening four starts before a Bobbie Lewis second in September of 2011.
From there it has been a hit-and-miss record from the promising galloper who has suffered from breathing problems throughout their career.
During the spring last season they won the Group 3 McEwen Stakes (1000m) first-up but then failed to finish better than fifth in their three subsequent wins.
They were last seen crossing seven lengths away ninth to Mental in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, after which they were sent to the paddock.
Determined to give the horse every chance of success Warren opted to have Bel Sprinter’s vocal cords lasered to rectify throat problems that have seen them race for the past two years with only around 50 percent lung capacity.
“He’s had a less-invasive form of throat surgery to the norm, he’s had his vocal folds lasered back to open his throat and give him the chance to breathe,” Warren said.
The horse showed that they were fully recovered, fired-up and ready to get back to the races winning an 800m barrier trial with Hugh Bowman aboard on March 22 boosting Warren’s confidence heading into the showdown.
“I’m very confident that we’ve got him sorted out,” the trainer said.
“I’m certainly not saying he’ll come out and win on Saturday, but he’ll run an enormous race.”
Saturday they will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy for their return in the $350,000 Group 1 Canterbury BMW Galaxy (1100m), an event they ran ninth behind Temple Of Boom in last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
While Bel Sprinter gets in well in the weights with 53.5kg after carrying 58.5kg for their last two runs in the spring, they have suffered an early blow with barrier 15 in the 14-starter, 4-emergency final field.
They will come into gate 11 if none of the emergencies gain a start, but it is still a tough first-up assignment looking at the quality of their rivals.
Among Bel Sprinter’s most notable competitors are the 59.5kg top-weight Hay List, record-breaking Challenge Stakes winner Snitzerland, the resuming triple Group 1 winning mare Sea Siren, and the past two The Galaxy winners with Atomic Force (2011) and Temple Of Boom (2012).
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