Peter Snowden’s star colt Sepoy has opened the favourite for the upcoming 2011 Golden Rose, the racing world backing the dual Group 1 winner to continue his juvenile dominance as a three-year-old.
A son of Elusive Quality from Danehill mare Watchful, Sepoy played a massive part in the Snowden-Darley two-year-old juggernaut last season winning five of his six career starts including the coveted Blue Diamond Stakes – Golden Slipper double.
His only defeat to date was a close second behind the Anthony Cummings-trained Smart Missile in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in March.
Sepoy’s stunning career opening earned connections including owner Sheikh Mohammed over $2.9 million in prize money.
This impressive figure of earnings is sure to grow substantially during the spring racing season.
Snowden is scheduling a big campaign for his champion, but is yet to confirm any starts in Sydney.
Despite Snowden naming only Melbourne Spring Carnival goals, Sepoy is installed as the early favourite to win the richest race of the Sydney Spring Carnival – the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 10.
Pre-nomination Golden Rose betting opened at bookmakers around the country this week, Sepoy topping the odds at $4.
Sepoy is set to resume racing following his blistering Golden Slipper success in the $100,000 Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 13.
“He’ll start off on the 14th (sic) and might have about five runs for the campaign,” Snowden said.
“His main aim is the Coolmore on Derby Day but he might go through the Manikato Stakes as well,” Snowden said when talking of Sepoy’s Melbourne spring assault.
The $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) is one of four elite level features at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, October 29, while the $500,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) is held a month earlier at Moonee Valley.
“He’s a sprinter, and that’s what he does best,” Snowden said.
Following closely in the Golden Rose odds is the only horse to conquer Sepoy so far, Smart Missile who is equal $5.50 second favourite with the fellow Snowden-trained dual Group 1 winner Helmet.
Heading towards the prestigious 2011 Caulfield Guineas on October 8, talented Exceed And Excel colt Helmet is a more likely Golden Rose acceptor than Sepoy according to Snowden.
“He’ll kick off with two runs in Sydney, maybe taking in the Golden Rose, and then come to Melbourne for the Guinea Prelude and then Guineas,” Snowden said.
Other early favourites to becoming this year’s Golden Rose winner include John O’Shea’s promising stablemates Fastnet Rock colt Foxwedge ($10) and More Than Ready filly Elite Falls ($14), the Peter Moody-trained Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Hallowell Belle ($16) and John Thompson’s Pane In The Glass ($16) who finished third behind Helmet in the Group 1 AJC Sires Prdouce Stakes (1400m) and second again to Helmet in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in the autumn.
There were 132 horses still in contention for the lucrative Golden Rose showdown when first acceptances were taken by the Australian Turf Club (ATC) this week.