The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained mare Gregers stays put in Melbourne this Saturday racing in the Bel Esprit Stakes 2015 at Caulfield Racecourse in her second run of the season.
Winner of the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at the track back in August, the four-year-old daughter of Commands is one of a bumper 16 final acceptors for this weekend’s $120,000 Listed TROA Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m).
She has come up trumps with barrier one in the sprint showdown with jockey Craig Williams taking over for Michael Walker who rode her to a nice second behind dual Group 1 winner Platelet first-up at Moonee Valley over 955m on March 27.
A three-time Caulfield winner, Gregers is targeting a run in the $400,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide on May 2, but goes into the race via a Melbourne run as opposed to taking on Platelet again in the RN Irwin Stakes in SA on Saturday.
“We think Gregers is going as well as she ever has and expect her to run well on Saturday but she’s been targeted to peak third up in the Robert Sangster (Will Hill Classic),” co-trainer Dabernig told Racing Victoria this week.
“We were rapt with her first-up run at Moonee Valley where she was just beaten by Platelet.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Platelet, she’s beaten Gregers every time they’ve met but they claimed off Platelet and she had the perfect run and we just were beaten by her.”
It won’t be an easy task in the Bel Esprit for the Group 1 bound mare however, the race full of depth including the 60kg top weight It Is Written who carries a kilo more than Gregers.
Robbie Griffiths’ Written Tycoon six-year-old is yet to win over the 1100m but was ultra-competitive last time out at Moonee Valley under the lights when a close fourth just two lengths off the winner Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) leading up to Saturday.
Following It Is Written and Gregers in the Bel Esprit Stakes weights this year is then Tried And Tired (58.5kg), the stakes winning sprinter returning to racing here.
Other headline Bel Esprit Stakes acceptors include the Robert Smerdon-trained Group 3 winning Street Sense mare Politeness in barrier five for Dwayne Dunn, Peter Moody’s progressive last start MAtrcie Stakes winner in Adelaide Runway Star in gate 12 and the smart Lee & Shannon Hope-trained three-year-old filly Sabatini out wide in barrier 15.
Despite the wide gate Sabatini is sure to feature high up the Bel Esprit Stakes betting markets, the daughter of Street Sense getting in on the 54kg minimum and coming off top form.
In mid-February she won the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at the track then made it back-to-back Caulfield wins a fortnight later with a victory over Fontein Ruby in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m).
Her latest run was then at Flemington when a brave second just a half-length off the winner in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m), a return to Caulfield to work to her advantage this weekend.
See below for the full Bel Esprit Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
Then for the best Melbourne racing odds plus access to Best Tote or SP + 20% on BOTH Group 1s in Sydney on Saturday, visit the country’s premier online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au!
2015 Bel Esprit Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 9 (4:45pm) – 18/04/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||7366712174||IT IS WRITTEN||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||7||60kg||102|
|2||34x11650x2||GREGERS||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||1||59kg||104|
|3||818x45123x||TRIED AND TIRED||Leon & Troy Corstens||Michael Walker||9||58.5kg||99|
|4||5937x750x0||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Noel Callow||14||58kg||98|
|5||200x567x06||GENERAL TRUCE||Ricky Maund||Jason Benbow||11||57.5kg||97|
|6||08x905808x||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Chris Symons||13||56kg||94|
|7||x6436x2392||VATICAN||Byron Cozamanis||Patrick Moloney (a)||8||56kg||94|
|8||1x44571x3x||POLITENESS||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||5||55.5kg||97|
|9||4x1620x121||RUNWAY STAR||Peter G Moody||Ms Linda Meech||12||54.5kg||95|
|10||211353×112||SABATINI||Lee & Shannon Hope||Nicholas Hall||15||54kg||94|
|11||4x31162x77||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||2||54kg||92|
|12||625510x04x||JAZZ SONG||Mick Price||Chad Schofield||10||54kg||92|
|13||213x6050x1||HAZARD||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Ben Melham||3||54kg||89|
|14||78x583536x||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||6||54kg||89|
|15||00x53577x7||AFRICAN PULSE||Stephen Brown||Dean Yendall||16||54kg||88|
|16||1x71276x21||INSPECTOR||Peter White||Dale Smith||4||54kg||71|