It’s been a rocky road to the track for seven-year-old L’Esprit, but trainer Andrew Homann says the fiery gelding is finally delivering on his promise.
“He’s by far the best horse I’ve ever put a saddle on,” Homann said.
“He might be seven (years old), but in his head he thinks he’s three or four.”
With only seven career starts behind him, it’s taken him a long time to find his feet after a series of accidents as a younger horse.
As a 580kg two-year-old at the Queensland horses-in-training sale he ran the second-fastest time for 200m at 10.05 seconds but was passed in at $85,000 when he hobbled into the sale ring with a foot injury.
While in recovery, L’Esprit caught his leg over the front of the stalls and hyperextended it, injuring his flexor tendon.
The injury wasn’t diagnosed until 18 months later when L’Esprit returned from the paddock and it took another two years to properly heal.
“In the meantime I got into a bit of trouble as a trainer,” Homann said. “I got two positive swabs for bicarbs.
“I did about two years on the sidelines. When I got my licence back I brought him into Geelong and got him going, and the rest is on paper.”
The third-generation trainer, who has worked for Lee Freedman and the O’Sullivan family in New Zealand, says L’Esprit “can do anything”.
Of seven starts since April, L’Esprit has won twice and has been placed three times.
“Horses don’t run the times he can run,” Homann said.”
L’Esprit finished third at Rosehill last month and returns to Sydney for the Castaway Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
“It’ll take a very good horse to beat him,” Homann said.