As Royal Academy rests up before his eighth year of dual hemisphere work his best southern son, Bel Esprit, broke through for a belated group I at three in the $500,000 (Australian funds) Doomben 10,000 (Aust-I) in Brisbane May 17.
Partnered by Nash Rawiller, Bel Esprit snapped a sequence of four seconds at group I in leading from wire-to-wire to easily defeat 3-year-old Danehill Dancer filly Private Steer by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:18.35 for the 1,350 meters.
Bel Esprit had won the Blue Diamond as a juvenile to place himself near the top of the Classifications. But the $9,000 yearling's current season had been beset by ill-luck and wet tracks. In the spring his second to Helenus in the Caulfield Guineas made it three straight consolation prizes in group I events.
Earlier in the fall he was also second to Belle du Jour in the $1 million Newmarket Handicap (Aust-I).