Victorian trainer Jason Warren has confirmed the use of a blindfold in an effort to see Group 1 winner Bel Sprinter break from the gates positively in this weekend’s Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
Having broken from the gates poorly in all three of his starts this preparation alone, Warren told RVN Bel Sprinter’s inability to recover from a particularly poor start in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) most recently was the major reason for the blindfold decision.
“He’s a real problem at the gates, as everybody’s well aware, and he’s going to wear a blindfold when get gets loaded this time and that will come off just before the gates open” Warren said.
“It’s just to try and keep him on the ball. He’s a horse that relaxes too much in the gates and he causes his own bad luck.”
Allocated the central barrier nine for the T.J. Smith Stakes, as part of day 1 of the inaugural The Championships at Royal Randwick, Warren revealed his delight at the ideal draw and said the exciting Bel Esprit gelding will line up in peak condition.
“I think that barrier should work really well for us” Warren added.
“I couldn’t be happier with him; he’ll have his final gallop tomorrow at Randwick, so it’s all systems go.”
Bel Sprinter produced a standout preparation over the 2013 autumn, winning the Group 1 The Galaxy first-up and finishing third behind equine superstar Black Caviar in the T.J. Smith Stakes before a short trip abroad produced an unlucky second in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint 2013 (1200m) in Singapore.
Yet to hit peak form this preparation, Bel Sprinter is currently given little hope for success in early betting markets for the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes this weekend.
In-form sprinter Lankan Rupee currently leads betting markets after securing back-to-back Group 1 titles in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in his two most recent appearances.
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