After top trainer Peter Snowden declared he would scratch Sepoy from the 2011 Vain Stakes at Caulfield tomorrow should the track remain slow, conditions in Melbourne continue to support a firming race surface for Saturday making odds on an upset result 100-1.
Elusive Quality colt Sepoy emerged as one of the most outstanding juveniles in recent history last season, winning five of his six starts including the prestigious Blue Diamond Stakes – Golden Slipper double.
Racing fans and punters are now gearing up to see Sepoy back in action on Saturday, the champion making his three-year-old debut in the $100,000 Listed Vain Stakes (1100m).
Despite some earlier doubts over Sepoy resuming due to the rain-affected Caulfield track, the horse opened odds-on to win the Vain Stakes at Luxbet and has since shortened into $1.35 after Snowden announced him a 90 per cent chance of running.
“I want to run first-up in the Vain and I’m pretty confident that we will,” Darley’s head trainer said.
“The track is currently rated a Slow 6 and from what I understand there is set to be good drying weather.
“If that’s the case there’s a possibility the track could be upgraded to a Dead 5, which would be ideal.”
However, Snowden said that should more rain develop he would not risk a repeat of the Todman Stakes and would withdraw Sepoy from the Vain Stakes field.
“He is geared up to run but if we got a severe downpour either (today) or the morning of the race and the track is downgraded to Heavy, I would look to scratch,” he said.
Back in March, Sepoy suffered his first and so far only defeat when beaten by Smart Missile in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
The form guide shows Rosehill rated Dead that day, but it was more like a Slow track with the rain starting to pour down just as the race jumped.
If forced to scratch from the Vain Stakes, Snowden indicated that the $100,000 Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley Saturday week would be an appealing first-up run.
“As always there are other options,” Snowden said.
“There is a race at Moonee Valley next Saturday we could fall back on.”
One galloper that could be a possible scratching from Caulfield’s race-card on Saturday is the Jason Clifford-trained Prince Obama from the $200,000 Group PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
A consistent Clangalang five-year-old, Prince Obama may have finished out of the money just once in their 11 starts to date but they are as yet untested at stakes company and Luxbet have them as a $151 roughie in their PB Lawrence Stakes odds.
Clifford admitted that facing the likes of Cox Plate co-favourite Whobegotyou and Peter Moody’s undefeated mare Lights Of Heaven was always going to be a big ask, but that if the race was run on a Heavy Caulfield course than Prince Obama was in with a shot.
“It’s certainly throwing him in the deep end,” Clifford said.
“But I nominated him because rain had been forecast early and we just took a gamble it could be a wet track.
“He’s a really good wet-track and on that sort of ground, with him rock-hard and fit and most of them first-up, he could finish with them.
“But on more like a dead track, you’d think it’d be pretty tough.”
Check out the full Caulfield Saturday racing odds and options on everything from odds-on favourite Sepoy in the Vain Stakes to triple-figure roughie Prince Obama in the P B Lawrence Stakes now at Luxbet!
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