A wide draw is pivotal to Bel Sprinter’s success in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) Saturday week, according to Jason Warren.
As he prepares to head west with his seven-year-old gelding on Friday, the trainer told TVN that a wide draw is his only wish ahead of the $750,000 feature race at Ascot.
Warren claims the long delay before the Group 2 Tab.com.au Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1 was what caused Bel Sprinter to finish ten lengths behind the winner in sixth place. As both Éclair Big Bang and In Cahoots underwent vet checks before the race, the gelding had to stand in stall three and wait.
The trainer feared Bel Sprinter would miss the start and they were soon met. The gelding stood flat footed when the gates opened and jumped very slowly, five lengths away from the rest of the pack. To make matters worse, the seven-year-old threw a shoe at the 300 metre mark, which shortened up his action.
Warren is now hoping and praying for an outside barrier draw in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes so something like this doesn’t have a chance of happening again.
“If the horse is in the barriers too long, he will miss it,” Warren said via TVN.
“We just don’t want to draw barrier one, two or three (in the Winterbottom) so he’s not in there too long. I’d be happy with the outside gate so he gets loaded last.
“It’s well worth taking the horse to Perth – firm track, around a bend and weight-for-age.”
He also noted that everything went well for Bel Sprinter two starts ago in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) when he jumped from barrier five without delay. He went on to win the race in a dead heat with Miracles Of Life.
Bel Sprinter is an $11 hopeful in the Winterbottom Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au behind favourite Angelic Light ($3.50). He worked this morning at Mornington and Warren was pleased with his condition ahead of the flight to Perth.
“He worked super today on the course proper, up against the rail,” Warren said.
“Ben Melham rode him and he was pleased, so it’s full steam ahead.”
Open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account today to start betting on the 2014 Perth Summer Racing Carnival.