Feb 26, 2015

THE extreme outside barrier, big odds and an even bigger weight would faze most trainers, but not Bel Sprinter’s Jason Warren.

With topweight of 58kg in Saturday’s Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield, and having drawn barrier 18 of 18, the seven-year-old gelding faces some formidable obstacles.

But Warren said Bel Sprinter was “flying” and the outside barrier would present no problems for a horse who has a habit of standing flat-footed when drawn an inside gate.

Anyone else would be disappointed with 18, but I’m not deterred as the horse is always a little bit slow away,” he said.

He’ll begin really well from barrier 18 as he’ll go in last and he’ll then get back in the field, but they’ll know he is there on Saturday.”

Warren said none of his Oakleigh rivals had performed like Bel Sprinter, who last raced in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth in November.

I think it’s a good chance for him to bounce back and hopefully win the race we should have won a couple of years ago,” he said.

It will be Bel Sprinter’s third crack at the 1100m race. He finished ninth last year, but Warren said he should have won in 2012 when he was sixth, beaten 1½ lengths. He said if jockey Ben Melham had taken Bel Sprinter to the outside, rather than the inside, he would have bolted in.

Things didn’t go well for us that day, but Ben is back on and he gets the chance to make amends. He has been riding very well and rides a lot of winners for me.”

Bel Sprinter, a $15 chance with TAB fixed odds, was given a “soft” trial at Cranbourne this month when he ran third behind Lankan Rupee and A Time For Julia.

Jason Warren says Bel Sprinter is “flying”.