Winterbottom Stakes to Figure for Bel Sprinter

Unable to reach full potential over a largely disappointing autumn preparation, trainer Jason Warren is hopeful throat surgery will hold the key to a return to form for Group 1 winner Bel Sprinter through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.

Bel Sprinter is likely to target the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes this season

Bel Sprinter is likely to target the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes this season. Photo: Steve Hart

Securing seven wins and three minor places from 24 competitive starts so far, Bel Sprinter has not been seen at the races since finishing a forgettable tenth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 10th; capping a disappointing five race preparation.

Confirming the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth on November 22nd will figure as the major target all things going to plan, Warren told Racing Victoria he is hoping the completed surgery will see results similar to those produced by the Bel Esprit gelding following his first bout of procedures in 2013.

“He had further throat surgery following The Goodwood and he’s breathing a lot better,” Warren said.

“He’ll either resume in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) on Caulfield Guineas Day or the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) on Caulfield Cup Day.

“We’ll just see how his fitness is following the trial on Monday before we lock in a start date for him.

“I like to try and give him three weeks between his first up run and his second up run so he may well end up running in the Darley Classic.

“Even though he’s probably not at his best down the straight, that race works out well timing-wise because it gives us around three weeks into the Winterbottom.”

A standout performer over the 2013 racing calendar, Bel Sprinter charged home to win the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) before finishing third to equine superstar Black Caviar in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) and travelling abroad to run second behind Lucky Nine in the Group 1 International Sprint (2000m) in Singapore.

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