|Bel Esprit continued his unbeaten run and established himself as
Australia's best two-year-old when he scored a gutsy win in this afternoon's Group 1 AAMI
Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.
After jumping out
of the gates well the colt went to the front of the field where the outsider Sparpower eye
balled him for about 400 metres before the Bel Esprit sneaked away to an early break.
At the point of the home turn the margin got closer to
three lengths as Wayne "Smokey" Treloar kicked the colt toward the winning post.
Despite getting very weary over the concluding stages the
son of Royal Academy held a neck margin over the classy filly Brief Embrace.
The win capped off an emotional week for trainer John
Symons and all of the staff at his Macedon Lodge stables.
Winning Victoria's richest race for two-year-olds was not
bad for a horse which had reportedly broken down last weekend.
Symons, a quiet spoken rising talent in the training world,
was forced to squash the rumours and declare his colt "fit and well and ready for the
Today's result was more like a relief rather than a triumph
for everyone at Macedon Lodge.
The pressure of preparing the hottest
Blue Diamond runner since Rancher must have been intense and this afternoon's positive
result was "testament to the team."
"The whole team at Macedon Lodge have to each take
some credit for this win. Everyone has worked so hard with today being the aim,"
"To win the Blue Diamond is a great thrill and it's
been a great day," he added.
Not surprisingly Symons was beaming after the win, which
was "clearly the best I'd ever had."
While Symons is rapidly climbing the ladder in his chosen
profession the win was at the other end of the scale for triumphant jockey Wayne Treloar.
More commonly known as "Smokey," Treloar was
nearly dead and buried as a top class rider before the Macedon Lodge and Bel Esprit show
Symons calls it a "resurrection," whatever it is
there wasn't one person among the thousands at Caulfield willing to begrudge Treloar his
moment of glory at "The Heath."
Symons and Bel Esprit's part owners, who include Essendon
AFL coach Kevin Sheedy, will be hoping their horse can be lucky number five.
Only four horses have gone on to win the Golden Slipper in
Sydney after taking the Blue Diamond in Melbourne. If Bel Esprit wins he will be following
in the footsteps of Courtza (1989), Bounding Away (1986), Manikato (1978) and John's Hope
"It's the logical next step to tackle the Golden
Slipper. It probably depends how he pulls up but it (the Slipper) is very, very
attractive," Symons said.
While Treloar didn't want to predict much about his future
in the saddle he was lavish in the praises of Symons.
"This is going to be the first of many Group One wins
for John, I can assure you of that," Treloar told the huge crowd.
PICS - Quentin