Mornington’s Jason Warren is happy with his decision to bypass last weekend’s Darley Classic and is confident Bel Sprinter can return to form in the Winterbottom Stakes 2014 in Perth on November 22.
Warren’s Bel Esprit seven-year-old is best known for his Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) win in Sydney last year, and his second in the Singapore International Sprint on the world stage that May.
Since then the champion has been hit-and-miss winning just the one subsequent race.
That came first-up off a five month spell this October on Caulfield Cup Day when the veteran held on to win in a dead heat with Miracles Of Life in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m).
Things went amiss again next time out on Victoria Derby Day down the Flemington straight on November 1 however.
There he missed the start by several lengths and failed on the course beaten 10 lengths when sixth to Deep Field.
Warren never expected Bel Sprinter to win that day though and simply used the race to keep him ticking over for his end of season goal in Western Australia.
“The reason for us running at Flemington the other day was to give me three weeks to get him ready for the Winterbottom, and though nothing went to plan in the race, timing wise it gave me plenty of time to get him ready for the right race,” Warren told The Herald Sun.
“And he is not a good horse down the straight.”
Knowing the horse is vulnerable down the straight at Flemington, Warren chose to skip the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) there last Saturday and has the horse on track for a run in the $750,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot Racecourse Saturday week.
There he will be looking to bounce back, hopefully from a wide barrier according to his trainer, and the bookies rate him a credible chance of doing so with Bel Sprinter paying $13 in the latest Winterbottom Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Those Winterbottom Stakes betting markets are led by another Victorian sprinter whose connections opted not to run her in the Darley Classic, Robbie Griffith’s Manikato Stakes runner-up Angelic Light paying $3.80 to atone for her devastatingly close loss at Moonee Valley last month.
To get behind the favourite Angelic Light or take Bel Sprinter at his current price to win the Winterbottom Stakes visit Ladbrokes.com.au where you’ll find all the top odds on the Group 1 races this Perth Summer Racing Carnival.