Eliza Park International’s Bel Esprit has re-confirmed himself as a great of the Victorian breeding industry by winning the Champion Victorian Stallion for an eighth consecutive season.
The award was presented at the annual Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Awards held at Crown Melbourne on Sunday night.
He successfully defended his Victorian sires’ crown with earnings over $5.66 million in 2014-15. Incredibly, it was his 8th consecutive title.
Bel Esprit won this year’s title from three other Victorian-based sires that passed the $5 million mark – Darley’s Reset ($5.16m), Eliza Park International’s Magnus ($5.14m) and Woodside Park’s Written Tycoon ($5.08m).
Bel Esprit was represented by 138 individual winners in 2014/2015 with total earnings of $5.66 million. His winners included black type winners Afleet Esprit and Iconic.
Bel Esprit has passed several milestones since taking over from Rubiton as Victoria’s champion stallion. He equalled the Australian record of 155 individual winners held by Commands in 2012-13.
Since retiring to stand at stud at Eliza Park in 2003, he has sired more than 500 winners across 11 countries including 21 black type winners. His progeny have earned more than $47 million in stakes.
For each of the past 5 seasons he has sired more than 100 winners including a then national record of 155 winners in season 2012/2013.
Bel Esprit sired his 500th individual winner when Another Girl won an Ipswich maiden on May 20.
Bel Esprit sired world-champion mare Black Caviar who stands alone as the greatest galloper ever bred in Australia. Other Group 1 progeny of Bel Esprit include Bel Mer and Bel Sprinter.
This season sees the departure of Bel Esprit to Eliza Park International’s Queensland property where his Victorian, national and international feats will ensure he remains as popular as ever.
Eliza Park International’s Mark Lindsay did however tell the awards audience on Sunday night that we may yet see the return of Bel Esprit to Victoria in future seasons.
Bel Esprit’s legacy continues at Eliza Park at Kerrie in the Macedon Ranges with his son Moshe (brother of Black Caviar) now standing there and serving large books of mares.