Bel Esprit Decision This Week
|Story By Chris Scholtz|
While Bel Esprit is a definite starter in the $1 million AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7, it is still undecided if the son of leading sire Royal Academy will race on next season.
Victoria’s Eliza Park Stud holds the breeding rights to Bel Esprit and will meet with the colt’s owners on Wednesday to discuss his future.
“We have to look at what is best for the horse and his future at stud,” Eliza Park’s John Mitchell told Racing and Sports.
“Wednesday’s meeting between our management and Bel Esprit’s owners should resolve whether he goes on for another season of racing or is retired after the Stradbroke to begin stud duty at Eliza Park this spring.”
Bel Esprit added to his stud value when he made a brilliant return to winning form in the Group One Doomben Ten Thousand on May 17.
It was his first win since last August and the second G1 win of his career to go with his Blue Diamond Stakes success as a two-year-old.
Bel Esprit suffered only one loss in six starts as a two-year-old and began his three-year-old season with successive wins in Listed and Group races at Moonee Valley and Caulfield.
He then endured a frustrating run of defeats, including second placings in the G1 Eat Well Live Well Cup, G1 Caulfield Guineas and G1 Newmarket Handicap, before bouncing back to the winning list in the Doomben Ten Thousand.
Eliza Park Stud has been intent on securing classy young Australian stallions for stud duty this year, having also added Australian Guineas winner Delago Brom and the brilliant Sydney Group winner Planchet to its roster for 2003.
Sunline’s sire Desert Sun, Jetball and the high class imports Val Royal, Grass Wonder, Black Hawk and Johan Cruyff make up the current Eliza Park roster.