With a first-up record of six wins from eight starts, trainer Jason Warren is hoping this statistic will hold-up for Bel Sprinter in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28.
The seven-year-old gelding has had a tumultuous racing career due to his dislike of the barriers, in which he’ll get stirred up prior to a race start. Despite this, Bel Sprinter has earned more than $1 million in prizemoney and enjoyed success in races such as the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) and Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), in which he finished third to Black Caviar.
After winning The Galaxy in 2013, Bel Sprinter had a disappointing autumn campaign last year, finishing outside the placings in all five of his starts.
The gelding returned to the winner’s circle first-up in the spring however, winning the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) in a dead heat with Miracles Of Life.
“He’ll be trained right up for the Oakleigh Plate first-up,” Warren told Sky Racing.
“From there we’ll decide whether we stay at Group One level or drop back a couple of pegs.”
This will be the third Oakleigh Plate for Bel Sprinter, who finished sixth in 2012 and ninth last year.
The gelding began preparations with his first official trial of the year at Cranbourne last week, enjoying a soft jump-out behind Lankan Rupee.
Bel Sprinter’s stable mate Baron Archer, who remains unbeaten from his three starts, will be aimed towards Sydney during the autumn. The four-year-old gelding has not been seen since winning his hat trick back in July last year.
“We’ll have to start him off in restricted races to get his rating up and then look to get him in the better races when he’s out to his right trip,” Warren said.
The 2015 Oakleigh Plate is one of three Group One races running at Caulfield in two weeks along with a further five black-type races.
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