While history is against Peter Snowden’s resuming Elusive Quality colt Sepoy in the $100,000 Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday, jockey Kerrin McEvoy is firmly on his mount’s bandwagon.
McEvoy will take the ride on dual Group 1 winner Sepoy for the third time on Saturday, the hoop confident that the last-start Golden Slipper champion will defy the stats with an easy first-up victory and continue his dominance on the turf.
Of the nine male Golden Slipper winners from the past 20 years just one, Danzero (1994), won their first-up run as a three-year-old.
Adding to the dismal record of Golden Slipper winning two-year-olds when they resume is the fact just three of the 11 fillies that won the richest juveniles’ race in the world were able to come back and win first-up.
It is a record, however, that won’t deter the bookies from installing Sepoy as the raging and likely odds-on Vain Stakes betting favourite and that hasn’t dinted the assurance McEvoy has in the $2.85 million earner.
McEvoy first partnered with Sepoy to win the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in February and he is looking forward to returning to the track on Saturday even with the high pressure to perform.
“The pressure is on for sure,” McEvoy said.
That pressure is not only for Sepoy in the Vain Stakes, but whether he can continue through his campaign and add to his stud value instead of joining the long list of talented two-year-olds that fell by the wayside in their older years.
“Whenever you see a brilliant two-year-old resume there is always a question mark surrounding whether they can produce again the following season,” McEvoy said.
“Sepoy was obviously a very special two-year-old and now a stallion in the making so you would like to see him improve on what he achieved and keep up his record.”
McEvoy will jump in the Sepoy saddle for his final trackwork ahead of the Vain Stakes on Wednesday morning and knows that although Snowden won’t have him prepared to peak until later in the carnival, Sepoy will still be the horse to beat on Saturday.
“There is no doubt that Peter hasn’t got him fully wound up but he is in good enough shape to win,” he said.
“His (unofficial) gallop the other week was more than satisfactory and to me I feel he has matured physically, he is a much stronger animal.”
It will be an action-packed Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse with other notable runners kicking off their spring campaigns including Peter Moody’s Caulfield Cup equal favourite Lights Of Heaven and last year’s Cox Plate third placegetter Whobegotyou who will face off in the $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
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