Bel Esprit basking in Australian Top 5

Black Caviar continues to rewrite the record books and Bel Esprit is basking in her reflected glory this season.

Bel Esprit became the fifth stallion to pass the $6 million mark in 2010-11 when his champion daughter won the $405,000 BTC Cup at Doomben on Saturday.

High Chaparral is on top of the Australian sires’ table with $6.78 million but he’s treading water ahead of More Than Ready ($6.18m), Lonhro ($6.17m), Redoute’s Choice ($6.15m) and Bel Esprit ($6.08m).

Bel Esprit will probably pass High Chaparral after Black Caviar wins the $650,000 Doomben 10,000 on May 28.  But she would also have to win the $1 million Stradbroke Hcp on June 11 to challenge the other three.

Black Caviar (4m Bel Esprit – Helsinge by Desert Sun) is provisionally priced at $6.50 for the Stradbroke but she’s an unlikely starter.

Bel Esprit won the 2003 Doomben 10,000 before retiring to Eliza Park.  He has sired 224 winners of 562 races at a 63% strike-rate.

Black Caviar tops his earner list at $3.47 million.  Next best is G1 SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes winner Bel Mer on $599,000.

A massive crowd of 20,000 racegoers roared as one at Doomben when the wonder mare cruised home for a two-length victory over Hay List (Statue Of Liberty) in the BTC Cup.  It was the fourth time she has defeated Hay List who is also by a stallion based at Eliza Park.

“Once she flattened out, I knew she would win,” trainer Peter Moody said.  “It’s something to behold and she’s beaten probably the second best sprinter in the world.”

The BTC Cup was Black Caviar’s sixth Group 1 triumph this season following the Patinack Farm Classic, Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Hcp at Flemington, William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley and T J Smith Stakes at Randwick.

It equalled the modern-era marks of Kingston Town and Weekend Hussler.  The all-time Australian record is held by Tulloch who won 10 Group 1 events in 1957-58.

A Doomben 10,000 victory would see Black Caviar equal Bernborough’s record of seven Group 1 wins in a row in 1946.

Winning jockey Luke Nolen believes Black Caviar will come on for the Doomben hit out after a 35 day break.  “She needed that gallop,” Nolan said.  “She will tighten up and improve again for the 10,000.”


Lynden Park resident Desert King was the last Victorian based stallion to finish in the Top 5 of an Australian premiership.  His winners earned $7.57 million in 2005-06 with Makybe Diva’s third Melbourne Cup prizemoney providing the majority of that total.