PHILIP GUNTER, a construction engineer with a stud farm in the Upper Hunter, only has a small number of broodmares, but he has bred two very brilliant horses using Coolmore sires, Bel Esprit (by Royal Academy) and Big Money (Choisir).

Still in work (Rod Northam, Scone), the gelded Big Money is a very respectable sprinter who has won nine of 20 starts and earned $600,000. He is ten years younger than Bel Esprit, a horse who, after being sold in Sydney for $9,000, went on to be one of the best of his generation at two and three, competing 19 times for eight stakes wins, including appearances in the Blue Diamond and Doomben10,000, and four Melbourne Group1 seconds, the Newmarket, Caulfield Guineas, Manikato and the Invitation Stakes.

Put to stud at Eliza Park in Victoria, but transferred this year to their new Eliza Park Stud in Queensland, Bel Esprit was represented by his first runners in 2006-07. He has gone on to transmit his brilliance to the extent he has honoured Australia by supplying Black Caviar, a mare hailed as one of the world’s greatest ever sprinters. She won all her 25 starts, 15 of them Group1, and earned over $6.9million.

Black Caviar, however, is but one of 500 individual winners Bel Esprit already has to his credit. All sired at Eliza Park in Victoria and including a few sent abroad, they have won at least 1560 races and $46million.

Since he was Victoria’s leading first, second and third season sire, he has ruled as their champion sire ever since. At the same time he has been continually one of Australia’s best numerically, including in 2012-13 being the leader by both winners (155 – equaled Australian record) and wins (249).

His move to Queensland follows the plans by the new Hong Kong owners of the Eliza Park studs to play a major role in the greater rewards flowing into northern racing. Available on a fee of $18,700 including GST, he is standing at the Queensland stud with Love Conquers All (a multiple stakes winning sprinter by Mossman, fee $11,000), Instinction (Exceed and Excel Melbourne triple stakes winner, fee $5,500) and Monashee Mountain (USA) (Danzig sire winners to Group1, fee $3,300).

The northern stud is in the same valley as one of the highest quality and successful studs to appear in Queensland, Glenlogan Park.