Eliza Park International champion Bel Esprit has sired his 20th stakes winner with a close relation of his world-champion mare Black Caviar.
Iconic (4g Bel Esprit – Danavia by Danehill) was a narrow winner of the LR Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday for part-owner and breeder Rob Crabtree. He was racing first-up following an autumn campaign that included an unplaced effort in the G1 Oakleigh Plate.
“He’s from a cracking family and there’s more nice races in him,” trainer Tony McEvoy said. “Looking at his legs, you would walk past him but he hasn’t had a day’s unsoundness.”
Iconic had been threatening to break through at black-type level since a narrow victory over Trust In A Gust in the VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo in March 2013. He was runner-up to champion sprinter Lankan Rupee in the G2 Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield in February this year.
McEvoy said the McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 6 is next on the agenda. The Group 2 sprint is the likely spring launching pad for Lankan Rupee.
Iconic is from a half-sister to Helsinge – the dam of Black Caviar. His dam is also a three-quarter sister to Group 1 winner Magnus who stands alongside Bel Esprit at Eliza Park International.
The Carlyon Stakes was the second-leg of a double for Bel Esprit at Moonee Valley. Lindsay Park filly Afleet Esprit won the opening race on the card and her spring goal is the G1 Thousand Guineas.
Bel Esprit captured his seventh straight Victorian sires’ premiership last season and he will stand for a $24,200 (inc gst) fee at Eliza Park International this year.