Bel Sprinter certainly lost no fans with his second in the Bobbie Lewis Quality-G3 over 1200m at Flemington yesterday. Indeed he probably gained plenty with the sheer grit of his performance.
The winner of his previous four outings – including a resounding victory in the Regal Roller Stakes-LR a fortnight ago – Bel Sprinter did all the work in front before Lone Rock swooped late and caught him in the shadows of the post.
A more seasoned performer, yet carrying less weight, Lone Rock won the Group One Goodwood in May and – in the Bobbie Lewis – got the drop on 3-time SW Danzylum ($699k), Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready, G1 winner Toorak Toff, dual SW Temple of Boom, 3-time SW Dubleanny, Flemington Group winner Elusive Touch, dual SW and G1 placed Chasm, Group winner Lord Pyrus, 3-time SW Doubtful Jack ($570k), last season’s dual G1 winner Yosei, G1 winner Aloha, GW and G1 runnerup Gold Salute and G1 winner Eagle Falls.
Arguably the strongest Group Three sprint you’ll see anywhere and surely a contender for an upgrade next season?
Indeed, Robert Smerdon’s stable foreman, Henry Dwyer, was quoted on TVN as saying the Bobbie Lewis was ‘stronger’ than the Goodwood.
“It’s every bit of a Newmarket or Salinger,” Dwyer pointed out.
It will be interesting to see where trainer Jason Warren places the Bel Esprit sprinter next … a ‘recognised’ Group One certainly isn’t out of the question!