THE EARLY DAYS
BEL SPRINTER was bred in Geelong by small time breeder, Glen Bailey. Glen had raced his mother (Gavroche) which Jason had trained in the later part of her career. She was retired early and sent to stud in 2006 where she was covered by champion sprinter Bel Esprit.
Rared in Glen's backyard in the Geelong suburb of Corio, Bel arrived at Jason's stables in 2011. Little did everyone know that the bay colt would one day becoming an international star and become known as the "Balnarring Bullet".
A STAR EMERGES
"I remember watching his first ever trial. He was there for a soft hitout and he ended up blowing them away. He was gong half pace and we knew then that he was pretty special".
After three bouts of shin soreness which delayed his career, Bel Sprinter finally made his racetrack debut on 27 December 2010 in a Mornington maiden. "We were very confident going onto his first start. He rounded them up in a couple of strides and won running away".
THE WINNING RUN
Bel Sprinter ended up winning five our of his first 6 races which included the Regal Roller Stakes and WJ Adams Stakes at Caulfield. He was one of Australia's best young sprinters. A group 1 awaited.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Bel's first Group 1 race was in March 2012 in the G1 Oakleigh Plate. "He went into the race absolutely flying and I really thought he could win the race. It wasn't one of Benny Melham's better rides. He ran into dead end after dead end and went to the line hard held".
GROUP 1 GLORY
After having throat surgery in the Spring of 2012, Bel Sprinter stepped out in the Autumn of 2013 with big question marks hanging over his head. His form had dropped away in the spring and throat surgery had ensued.
"He was a brilliant fresh horse so I decided to set him for the Group 1 Galaxy at Rosehill. All the dincators at home suggested that he was going as good as ever".
"Melham had run out of chances on the horse so we decided to book Kieran McEvoy for the ride. He trialled 10 days before the race and was flying.
Sent out as a 17-1 chance in the Galaxy, Bel spotted SNITZERLAND a huge start coming into the straight before mowing her down. "It was the greatest moment of my racing life. Always will be. It was the culmination of years of hard work and something that I will cherish forever".
Above: Kieran McEvoy and Bel return to scale after the Galaxy
TAKING ON BLACK CAVIAR
Following his Galaxy win, Bel Sprinter fronted up in the TJ Smith Stakes and run a gallant third to BLACK CAVIAR, the best sprinter the world has ever seen. "It was no disgrace to get beaten by her. She was the best horse we've seen in my lifetime".
Next stop was Singapore. Bel Sprinter was invited to be Australia's representative in the 2013 International KrisFlyer. "It was an amazing trip and a huge thrill to be involved in such a big race".
Bel didn't let his supporters down running a huge race to finish 2nd behind the Hong Kong star LUCKY NINE. "He was badly interfered with on the corner but he picked himself up and kept coming. In my opinion, it was one of his best ever runs".
THE SINGAPORE JETLAG
"The Singapore trip definitely knocked him around. It took him a while to rediscover his best form. He returned from Singapore with a high rating and found himself up in the weights and battling a worsening throat which made it hard for him".
THE DEAD HEAT WITH MIRACLES
Most punters had all but written him off coming into the spring of 2014. It had been 10 runs since his last win and it had been a while since we had seen Bel's sizzling turn of foot.
Reunited with his old mate Ben Melham, Bel turned back the clock in the spring of 2014 in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint. Sent out a 12-1 chance, Melham was at his brillaityn best shouldering through a need le eye opening to dead-heat with Miracles of Life. "It had been a tough 12 months and it was just such a relief to see him win again".
RETIREMENT AND LIFE AFTER RACING
Bel was retired from racing in April 2015 after 30 starts, 8 wins and over $1 million in prize money. He retired sound and now enjoys life as a show horse with Carly Thomas who strapped and rode him throughout his career.