|Blue Diamond Stakes winner Bel Esprit is hot for
the Golden Slipper after a sizzling trial, which earned a required barrier certificate, at
Bendigo this morning.
Apart from baulking at a
barrier attendent when he first arrived at the barriers, there were no problems for Bel
Esprit when he walked into the barrier without erring with the assistance of a chain over
Trainer John Symons said he was always confident the Royal
Academy colt would cause no problems in today's final Golden Slipper test.
"I had no doubts he would go in the barriers,
we were always calm and he's come through today in great shape," Symons said.
When the barriers opened in the 800 metre trial Bel Esprit
sat third, just off the two pacesetters, in a field of four.
Jockey Wayne Treloar then released the reins a fraction at
the top of the straight and the unbeaten youngster then cruised past his rivals in
At the post Bel Esprit's margin was about 15 lengths and
widening at each stride.
"Wayne was asked to give him an easy time in the first
few hundred metres before letting him roll from the top of the home straight," Symons
Bel Esprit, who cost Symons just $9,000 as a
yearling in Sydney last year, has started in five stakes races and won the lot.
The colt is expected to travel to Sydney "over the
weekend" in preparation for the Golden Slipper, which will be run at Rosehill Gardens
on March 23.
Symons and Treloar were in the Sydney area yesterday
searching for a suitable location to stable and base the colt during his Slipper bid.
Part owned by Essendon AFL coach Kevin Sheedy and Macedon
Lodge's owned Kurt Stern, Bel Esprit is at the top of betting for the race along with
Sydney's star youngster Chosir.
PICS - Quentin