|Trainer John Symons has sent out a warning to
rival trainers by declaring his Golden Slipper fancy Bel Esprit was "perfect" in
the lead up to next Saturday's feature event at Rosehill.
Symons made the statement after watching Oronoko finish a handy second in the
first race at Flemington today.
The optimism and shine in his eye when he told of the
current state of his son of Royal Academy came even before boom Sydney colt Choisir
suffered a shock defeat in Sydney.
While trackmen are renowned to over dramatise the strong
work performed by a galloper in a lead up to a major race, Symons said the report on Bel
Esprit's gallop during the week was "spot on."
"It was a sensational gallop," Symons beamed.
"You would not have seen better work from any horse."
"Track watchers said horses just don't work
as well as what he (Bel Esprit) did," Symons said referring to the gallop in which
the colt ran his final 400 metres in a blistering 22.25 seconds.
"And many thought he must have been up against the
rail but he was actually between 14 and 15 metres out," Symons added.
Symons also added the colt came around the turn in great
style and handed the Sydney circuit "with no problems at all."
"He's thriving in himself and I think he's better now
heading into the Slipper than what he was heading into the Blue Diamond," Symons
Meanwhile, Bel Esprit's expected main opponent the Sydney
colt Choisir has suffered a shock defeat in yesterday's TJF Group Pago Pago Stakes (1200m)
After being sent to the front of the field shortly
after the start by Lenny Beasley the colt then began to hang off the track over the
concluding 250 metres losing valuable ground. When the line was reached the last start
Black Opal Stakes winner Planchet had cruised up on the colt's inside and nailed him to
win by a nose.
The boom Innisfail gelding Strictly Smart was best of the
rest finishing in third place.
PICS - Quentin