It was a dead heat Caulfield Sprint 2014 result on Caulfield Cup Day today with comeback gallopers Miracles Of Life and Bel Sprinter sharing the winner’s cheque.
A dozen sprinters lined-up in this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint (1100m), a traditional lead-up race to the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Emirates Stakes Day, November 8.
The 2014 Darley Classic in three weeks is now the confirmed target for one of today’s Caulfield Sprint winners, the Jason Warren-trained Bel Sprinter back to his best today after the seven-year-old had aggressive throat surgery earlier in the year.
“We’ll take what we can get,” Warren told the media post-win.
“It’s good to just see the horse hitting the line again.
“He did what he and to do and it’s a good effort.”
Bel Sprinter hadn’t won a race since the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) in March of last year, after which he travelled to Singapore for his second to Lucky Nine in the 2013 Singapore International Sprint.
All those involved with the son of Bel Esprit then were thrilled to see the old champion back to his better form with the Group 1 spring carnival targets looming.
“He was fierce to the line again today,” Warren said.
“It would have been nice to see him get a bit of galloping room and then you would have really seen what he’s got.
“The best of him will (beat them in the Group 1).
“He’ll improve out of today. Three weeks and the he’ll run in the Darley Classic.
“We’ll see what happens.”
The 59kg top weight Bel Sprinter ($12) loomed as the biggest danger to front-running Miracles Of Life today and looked to have gotten the bob of the head over the now Peter & Paul Snowden-trained mare on the line.
Neither broke through in the photo however and the dead heat was declared, much to the relief of the former Blue Diamond Stakes winner’s co-trainer Peter Snowden.
“She was very brave,” he said.
“She was out on her feet with 100 (metres) to go but she refused to lie down.
“She’s been showing me that at home.
“Whatever she does she does 110%.”
Not A Single Doubt four-year-old Miracles Of Life was having her first start since a failed effort finishing 16th to Smokin’ Joey in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide on May 10.
Sold by connections after that, her new owners – Stonestreet Stables – decided to bring her back for another season win Team Snowden, the dividends on that decision now paying off.
“I had her pretty wound up,” Snowden said.
“I probably did a little bit too much.”
Miracles Of Life ($7) then was very gallant, looking like a sitting duck on the run home but failing to give up.
In third was then one-time favourite Shamal Wind ($6) for Robert Smerdon who came off a third in the Group 3 Sprint Series Final (1200m) at the track last weekend.
I’m All The Talk rushed through early to go to the lead in today’s Caulfield Sprint while Miracles Of Life found a nice spot fourth on the fence.
She kicked up on the inside pulling away for the clear lead over the final few hundred metres before her photo finish with the late chargers, jockey Hugh Bowman full of pride over her effort.
“It was very close, neither of us knew who’d won,” he said.
“So proud of this girl. She’s first-up in a long time and she made the running.
“She gave a good kick. She was very gallant.
“It was an excellent effort and I’m really proud of her.
“She won the Blue Diamond and that was no fluke.
“Great to see her back in such great order and looking forward to her next start now.”
Ben Melham, aboard Bel Sprinter, was also proud of his horse today but said the galloper did himself no favours not being able to get to the outside.
“He still doesn’t help himself,” Melham said.
“He ends up in bad spots.
“Luckily he’s got a turn of foot to get himself out of strife.
“We all know how much ability he’s got when he’s right.
“Good to see him back.”
With the Darley Classic the named target for Bel Sprinter, Snowden is waiting to see how his co-Caulfield Sprint winner Miracles Of Life pulls up before confirming whether she goes into the Group 1 or the $300,000 Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) on Victoria Derby Day on November 1 instead.
“I think you’ll see a better Barbie (Miracle Of Life’s pet name) next time,” he said.
“I learned a bit about her today and I’m very proud of her.
“Not sure whether we go to the big target…might go the old Salinger (Stakes).
“I’ll leave it up to her. I’ll see how she pulls up and do it right by her.”
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2014 Caulfield Sprint Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 8 – 18/10/2014
|1||4||MIRACLES OF LIFE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||–||4||56kg||$7|
|1||1||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Ben Melham||–||5||59kg||$12|
|3||7||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||Zac Purton||0.1L||8||55kg||$6|
|4||5||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Michael Rodd||0.6L||6||55.5kg||$5.50F|
|5||13||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||1.6L||10||53kg||$6.50|
|6||2||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||1.7L||12||57.5kg||$10|
|7||12||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||Craig Newitt||2.45L||11||53kg||$41|
|8||6||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Douglas Whyte||2.85L||7||55.5kg||$31|
|9||8||I’M ALL THE TALK||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||3.6L||9||54.5kg||$9|
|10||3||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Damien Oliver||5.6L||3||56.5kg||$8.50|
|11||10||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||Glen Boss||7.6L||2||53.5kg||$41|
|12||11||WHITLAM||Danielle Wilson||Corey Brown||19.6L||1||53kg||$41|
|–||9||KARACATIS||Richard Jolly||Damian Lane||–||0||–||–|