No Stopping Vain Stakes Winner Sepoy in 2011


Sepoy on his way to winning the Vain Stakes 2011 at Caulfield

Top trainer Peter Snowden let out a sigh of relief at Caulfield on Saturday when his superstar colt Sepoy silenced the critics that said the dual Group 1 winner couldn’t maintain their arrogant juvenile form with a haughty first-up win in the $100,000 Listed Vain Stakes (1100m).

Sepoy ($1.26), who stormed into the spotlight with victories in the Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper as a two-year-old, looks set to continue his dominance a year older this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival having easily accounted for their rivals in the Vain Stakes on the weekend.

Defying history and the PB Lawrence Stakes hoodoo of resuming Golden Slipper winners, the son of Elusive Quality never hit top gear as they and jockey Kerrin McEvoy lead all the way to post a commanding two and a half length victory over the Peter Moody-trained Golden Archer ($8).

Finishing a further half-length away third was the Glen Boss-ridden Grand Britannia ($21).

While there were some queries over how Sepoy would come back, Snowden never doubted the rising star’s ability to return in style.

“He won with ease,” Snowden said.

“He is just a super horse.

“When you look at that race he was never under pressure anywhere and when he put a length on them he priced his ears, idled down and won by three (sic) and a half.

“Everyone was trying to put the cold water on him, but how he won is exactly how I wanted to see him win.

“He’s an exciting horse, just a real sprinter and he does it with ease.

“People were saying that he’d been in work too long, but he does so well in the paddock and he’s a mature horse, he doesn’t need time to develop.

“He has run 45 (seconds) for his last half-mile (800m) and won on his ear. That is impressive work.”

There is now little doubt that Sepoy is the horse to beat in any race the galloper contests, as was the sentiment Vain Stakes runner-up Golden Archer’s jockey Ben Melham expressed on Saturday.

“He (Golden Archer) was beaten by a superstar,” Melham said.

“My horse has come back well, but the other horse is in a league of his own.”

Winning jockey McEvoy, who has now been aboard Sepoy four times for a hat-trick of wins, was equally impressed and sent out a warning to the horse’s future challengers.

“He put it to bed within 50 yards once we straightened up,” McEvoy said.

“It is fair to say if something challenges there is more in the locker.”

Although they sit as the $4 favourite for the opening Group 1 race of the season, Sydney’s Golden Rose 2011 at Rosehill on September 10, the bookies have Sepoy as a doubtful contender and Snowden has confirmed this saying he would set his ace three-year-old on the path for Melbourne Spring Carnival features only this season.

Snowden has the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday October 29, as Sepoy’s main aim.

Next on the agenda for Sepoy, however, is the $250,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 3.

“It is three weeks to the Danehill and I would think he would better again,” Snoswden said.

“After that we’ll have a look at the Manikato if he runs well.”

There is also the possibility he will move on to tackle a field of older rivals in the $500,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 30, and of a once in a lifetime clash with Horse of the Year Black Caviar in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Stakes (1200m) on November 5 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival but whether this will eventuate is being kept hush hush by Snowden.

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