Fast Century for Bel Esprit

Bel Esprit sired his 100th individual winner when Baltic Spirit scored an all-the-way victory in the Four’N Twenty 2yo Plate (1000m) at Bairnsdale last Friday.

Baltic Spirit (2g Bel Esprit – Curvaceous Miss by Anabaa) headed a pack of four horses vying for the lead in the early stages and he still had plenty in reserve when jockey Ivan Culliver asked him for another effort at the furlong.

Baltic Spirit is trained by Robbie Griffiths at Cranbourne and he was a $60,000 buy out of the Fulmen Park draft at the 2008 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Bel Esprit has enjoyed a tremendous season with his current crop of two year-olds.  Last Monday, trainers Colin and Cindy Alderson produced his 99th individual winner when Spirited Hero sprinted to a five length victory at Sale.

He is also the sire of unbeaten filly Black Caviar, a Peter Moody trained youngster who won at Flemington on debut in April before stepping up to Listed company for a six length runaway in the Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield.

Bel Esprit has just three crops racing and the Mick Price trained filly Bel Mer is his chief earner with $600,000 in prizemoney.   She posted his first Group 1 win in the SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville in March.

Other Bel Esprit stakes winners include Gabbidon (G3 MRC Caulfield Guineas Prelude & SAJC The Jansz), Belcentra (LR VRC Lexus Stakes), Vivacious Spirit (G3 MRC How Now Stakes) and Mooring (Singapore).

Bel Esprit is fifth on the third-season premiership table this season with over $2.6 million in earnings.  The only sires above him are the Hunter Valley based Choisir (2009 fee – $35,000), Hussonet ($71,000), Street Cry ($110,000) and Rock Of Gibraltar ($55,000).

In contrast, Bel Esprit (Royal Academy) stands at Eliza Park in Victoria and his 2009 fee has been set at $16,500 which makes him the value sire, bar none, in Australia this year.