Hyam shooting for stakes double
Mathew Toogood
17:04 AEST Thu Dec 6 2012

Half-brothers Esprit De Bullet and Almighty Bullet are poised to give trainer John Hyam a milestone two-state stakes double on Saturday.

The Adelaide trainer is bullish about his chances of notching his first stakes success when in-form sprinter Esprit De Bullet tackles the Doveton Stakes at Caulfield.

And should the gelding land victory in the 1000m scamper in Melbourne, Hyam believes he might not have to wait long for another stakes victory.

Almighty Bullet runs in a Listed race at Morphettville later in the day.

"I don't usually get that confident but these horses are racing really well," Hyam said.

"The better horses have gone for spells after the spring and we're targeting stakes races that are a little bit weaker."

The Doveton Stakes is run at Listed level and Hyam has his sights on even bigger races should seven-year-old Esprit De Bullet continue to rise to the challenge.

"If he wins on Saturday I'll probably bring him back home and give him a quick freshen up, look at a race in Adelaide in January, and if everything goes well I would like to take him back to Melbourne for the Lightning Stakes."

The Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) is run at weight-for-age at Flemington in February and is the intended target for Black Caviar's return.

Esprit De Bullet, previously trained by Mark Lewis and then Mick Price, made his debut for the Hyam stable with a third at Murray Bridge in October and has since won two straight over 1000m on the Morphettville Parks track.

Hyam, whose recent run of winners has him fourth on the Adelaide premiership, said the gelding had undergone throat surgery before his debut for the stable which he was told at the time had about a 20 per cent chance of being successful.

"It seems to have worked pretty well," he said.

Because Esprit De Bullet has had a throat operation, Hyam said he hadn't pushed the sprinter too hard and was happy to keep him at 1000m.

"I think he's going to be hard to beat, his times have been super here (in Adelaide) and he nearly broke the track record two starts back," he said.

"I haven't had him peaking yet and I think there's been a fair bit of improvement in him (since his last start)."

Esprit De Bullet is on the second line of betting behind Winter King.

Almighty Bullet has won four of his past five starts ahead of Saturday's City Of Marion Stakes (1200m).

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