Bel Esprit broke through the 100 individual winners milestone over Easter and he capped the long weekend with a double at Sandown on Monday.
The Eliza Park International champion sired Belcrest Lady and Lord Esprit to win on the Lakeside circuit and they improved his current-season figures to 103 individual winners of 156 races.
Belcrest Lady was the second Easter winner by Bel Esprit for Geelong trainer Heath Connors – he also prepared Bel Rhythm to a narrow victory in the Jack Elliott Hcp (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Connors bought Bel Rhythm for just $13,000 at the 2009 Inglis Melbourne Autumn yearling sale. He was offered by Erinvale Thoroughbreds and Saturday’s victory improved his record to 7 wins and $162,915.
Winning jockey Noel Callow said Bel Rhythm deserved plenty of credit. “I got flushed out early and he was a sitting duck in the straight. I nursed him as long as I could and he stuck his head out right on the line.”
Bel Esprit ($3.89 million) trails Reset ($4.28 million) on the Victorian sires’ premiership and that’s well within reach with four months of the season remaining. He also dodged a bullet at Randwick on Monday when Reset gelding Hauraki was beaten a half-length in the G1 Australian Derby. The margin meant a difference of $900,000 in prizemoney.