Despite a sixth place finish in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night, international performer Bel Sprinter remains on track for a shot at the Manikato Stakes 2013 back at the track at the end of the month.
One of the top fancies for the Moir, Jason Warren’s Bel Esprit six-year-old could only manage to finish seven and a half lengths away sixth behind the winner Samaready in their maiden first-up defeat.
It was the reigning The Galaxy winner’s maiden run back home following a trip to Singapore where they ran a brave second to Hong Kong star Lucky Nine in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) in May.
It was also a run that their Mornington-based trainer Warren is willing to forgive as they continue on with spring plans for a next-up run in the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).
“The downgrade of the track was probably more against him than missing the start on Friday,” Warren explained to RSN’s Winners program this morning.
“Even though he was slow away he did manage to get onto Samaready’s back rounding the corner and she was just dominant and he was a little disappointing.”
Like the Moir the Manikato will be run under the lights at the Valley on a Friday evening taking place on October 25, the eve of Cox Plate Day.
Having pulled through the Moir well, Bel Esprit is preparing for the Manikato where they will have a rematch with International Sprint winner Lucky Nine for their debut down under.
“He came through the run well, he’s fine,” Warren said.
“He had a trot and a canter this morning and he looks really good.
“He’ll probably have another jumpout before he heads to the Manikato.”
He’ll also get the chance to turn the tables on the Mick Price-trained Moir Stakes winner Samaready who is the firming Manikato Stakes betting favourite after making it two-for-two this time in.
One horse that may not get the chance to atone in the Manikato is the Rob Heathcote-trained beaten favourite Buffering.
The Queensland champ posted their 10th Group 1 minor place when second to Samaready in the Moir but pulled up lame afterwards.
To get behind Bel Sprinter for the rest of their Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign make sure you head over to Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account with the country’s top bookie!