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07/03/02 Sydney Stewards Yet to Give Bel Esprit Green Light
New South Wales stewards have weighed into the Bel Esprit barrier debate indicating they may not approve the use of a stallion chain which was used with success at a barrier trial in Victoria this morning.

Victorian stewards forced the colt to gain a barrier certificate after he had proven difficult to be loaded into the barriers before the running of the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield last month.

Ray Murrihy, the Chief Steward in Sydney, said the use of the nose-chain (also known as a stallion chain) was not yet approved in his state.

"The question is, do we allow this gear up here," Murrihy prompted today.

"The nose-chain is not official gear and is not used in races."

"We will consider a request by connections to use the nose-chain once it is received."

"I have spoken to Bill Dale (STC Starter) and evidently it has not previously been used in NSW."

"The Stewards will make a decision on whether the nose-chain can be used on Bel Esprit upon consultation with all relevant parties," Murrihy added.

The announcement from the Chief Stipe in Sydney came just hours after the colt scored a twelve length win in an 800 metre trial at Bendigo this morning. The son of Royal Academy entered the barriers promptly pleasing his trainer.

"I never had any doubts he would go in," John Symons said after the colt dazzled on the inside track.

Bel Esprit is the favourite (or joint favourite with Chosir) in most Golden Slipper markets.

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