Mornington horseman Jason Warren has declared his Group 1 winning sprinter Bel Sprinter as “all set to go” for their tough first-up test in Friday night’s Moir Stakes 2013 which will see a host of short distance specialists square off.
Running as the last at Moonee Valley the $450,000 Group 1 Programmed Moir Stakes (1200m) was elevated to an elite level for the 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and it has attracted an elite field to match.
There is a logjam of sprint stars looking to fill the gap the retirement of former top-liner Black Caviar has left, the best of which come face-to-face on Friday night.
Current Moir Stakes odds have the defending Rob Heathcote-trained champ Buffering and Gerald Ryan’s four-year-old Snitzel mare Snitzerland installed as the $4.20 co-favourites.
Occupying the third line of betting at $4.60 is then another resuming runner in Bel Sprinter.
The internationally performing Bel Esprit six-year-old was last seen racing in Singapore’s Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) in May.
It was a cracking effort for their overseas debut too as they ran second to Lucky Nine, a Hong Kong superstar they are set to encounter again in next month’s $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) back at the Valley.
Prior to their international campaign Bel Sprinter was putting in career best efforts at home including their first-up Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) win over Snitzerland, and their brave third to Black Caviar in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the autumn.
Since landing back in Oz Bel Sprinter has done everything right according to Warren, including their nice Cranbourne barrier trial on September 9, and are set to fire on Friday night.
“Bring it on,” Warren told the Herald Sun.
He will improve on this run. He had two trials before he blew them away in The Galaxy and he is fresh again, although he has had only one trial.”
It will certainly be a telling race looking ahead to the more lucrative features including the Manikato as well as the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day in November which are set to attract similar fields.
“This should be the start of a super sprinting spring and we’ll know just where they all stand after the Moir,” Warren said.
His only concern is their inside barrier one draw from which they will be ridden by Damien Oliver.
“Not nice,” was Warren’s comment over the gate.
“That is up to Damien Oliver to negotiate.
“If there is a solid pace, as I expect, he should be running over the top of them.”
As for their biggest danger? Warren rates 16-time Group 1 runner Buffering as the one to beat.
“Buffering has run second behind Black Caviar and Hay List at his best and is a solid performer at this level,” he said.
He also has a huge respect for Peter Snowden’s smart Commands stallion Epaulette who beat them home by one in the TJ Smith Stakes, as well as the Peter Moody-trained Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Moment Of Change.
“Epaulette will be hard to beat. He beat us home (behind Black Caviar) in the T.J.?Smith after we won The Galaxy,” he said.
“Moment Of Change is a Group 1 winner and was runner-up in the Newmarket Handicap under a big weight, and he has a lot going for him.
“Snitzerland is a ripper. She was runner-up to Pierro in the Golden Slipper and she is always hard to catch, while Samaready won the Blue Diamond, was third in the Golden Slipper and seems to have bounced back really well from an injury.
“This will be a great race for sure. But we are set and ready to have a red-hot go.”
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