The Winterbottom Stakes 2014 in Perth at the end of November has been named as the new season major for the Jason Warren-trained Bel Sprinter who is still in the paddock enjoying an extended spell.
The Bel Esprit gelding was last seen running a disappointing 10th behind upset winner Smokin’ Joey in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 10.
They missed the kick from the inside alley that day however, another awkward jump from the six-year-old, and got caught too far back to feature in the Adelaide sprint classic.
Another interstate assignment to hopefully atone for that run however is on the cards for Bel Sprinter this Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
The Mornington-based Warren named the $500,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot Racecourse on Railway Stakes Day, November 22, as the horse’s big target next campaign.
A winner of 7 of their 22 starts to date, Bel Sprinter has already amassed close to $1 million in prize money with their winnings sitting at $964,453.
They could then be set to enter the million dollar earner’s club next prep if they can return to winning form.
It’s been a while between drinks for the sprinter however who hasn’t won a race since their three and a half length romp over Snitzerland first-up in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m0 in March last year.
They also ran third to the world’s best mare Black Caviar after that in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) before embarking on an overseas campaign.
That year they went to Singapore and made an impact with a brave second behind Lucky Nine in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) at Kranji Racecourse.
Since returning to Australia last spring however they’ve run to four just once in their eight most recent runs.
Warren though believes that a firm Ascot track with the bend will suit and Bel Sprinter can break the drought out west.
“He’s very good on dry tracks and I’d like to give him a run in Melbourne and then take him over there,” Warren told AAP.
“He’s better off around a bend rather than down the straight.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to follow Bel Sprinter throughout the spring – summer season.
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