Kisukano the latest star for evergreen stallion
Bel Esprit is one of Australian breeding’s elder statesmen but his brilliant filly Kisukano shows he remains a potent force.
Kisukano was brilliant winning at Eagle Farm last Saturday taking her record to six wins and two placings from eight starts when sizzling over 1200 metres in 1:08.69s - breaking the mark set by then-five-year-old Isaurian (1:08.76s) in December last year.
The daughter of Bel Esprit and Kiss For Gran comes from the stallion’s 14th crop and at the time home for Bel Esprit was Eliza Park’s Queensland stud at Innisplain.
Bel Esprit stood in Queensland for three seasons before Sun Stud’s lease on the Sunshine State property ended in 2018 and the decision was made to return the stallion to Victoria.
A brilliant racehorse, Bel Esprit was prepared by John Symons at Mt Macedon for a group of mates that just happened to include AFL legend Kevin Sheedy.
The syndicate was being put together by one of Kevin’s great mates from his Essendon days, Brian Donohue. It included the former Federal Minister, Michael Duffy, another Essendon supporter.
When Brian and Michael were just about to finalise the syndicate, Brian said: “I think there’s someone missing, we should ask Kevin Sheedy if he’d like to come in”.
So Kevin got a share, one seventh, of the overall cost of around $13,000. The return on that investment has been enormous for all the investors.
Bel Esprit won two Group Ones – the Blue Diamond and the Doomben 10,000 – but he was second in four Group Ones, including his three-year-old season when he was second in three consecutive Group One, the Manikato, Dubai Cup and the Caulfield Guineas.
At stud he’s been nothing short of spectacular and he’ll never get a better one than his perfect daughter Black Caviar, winner of all her 25 starts.
But Bel Esprit is more than a one trick pony.
Bel Esprit is an eight-time champion Victorian sire, having 100 individual winners annually for seven seasons, Australian champion sire by winners, the sire of more than 700 winners in 11 countries and has a 70 per cent winners to runners and more than $73 million in progeny earnings.
These days he stands for $7,700 in Victoria and last spring served 60 mares.
Go back to 2007 when equine flu hit Victoria, Bel Esprit was one of the few quality stallions in Victoria. Woken up at all hours of the morning, he set a record for most coverings in a season – 266 mares.
But one thing Bel Esprit has continued to do is leave good tough horses who are winners.
He’s sired 1048 runners around the world for 726 winners of 2550 races so he’s produced – on average – 130 winners a year world-wide for the past 10 seasons.
With the new season only a month old the record is only going to get better because he’s already had 10 Australian winners.