Seven Challenge Sepoy in 2011 Danehill Stakes Field

Boom colt Sepoy will face seven brave rivals as the Blue Diamond Stakes – Golden Slipper winner seeks their second win of the season in Saturday’s Danehill Stakes 2011 at Flemington.


Sepoy is out to become just the second Golden Slipper winner in history to win the Danehill Stakes

Peter Snowden’s genius juvenile Sepoy showed they were ready for more of the same track brilliance in their three-year-old season, winning the Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) first-up at Caulfield on August 13.

They are now out for-back-to-back wins the son of Elusive Quality returning to Flemington, where they won on debut last October, for the $250,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).

Darley’s ace trainer Snowden is seeking his third win from the past four editions of the Danehill Stakes having trained winners Aichi (2008) and Soul who won the Danehill 12 months ago.

While Sepoy’s ability is not to be questioned, there are some hoodoos associated with the race that he will be up against as no Blue Diamond Stakes winner has ever won the Danehill and just won Slipper hero, Rory’s Jester in 1985, has taken out the race.

The 2011 Danehill Stakes field attracted a total of eight acceptors.

Sepoy is the unsurprising 58kg top-weight of the field, a half kilo drop from the weight they carried to victory in the Vain Stakes last-start, and is due to jump from their ideal barrier three draw with regular riding Kerrin McEvoy in the mount.

Having met and defeated the bulk of his rivals in the Danehill, Sepoy is sure to start odds-on favourite in the Saturday Flemington race markets at Luxbet.

One smart three-year-old that was not accepted after having been nominated for the Danehill was the Clarry Conners-trained Satin Shoes.

After her last-start eighth to Peter Moody’s apt galloper Golden Archer in Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last Saturday, Satin Shoes will be saved for later in the carnival.

Conners said that he may run her against older company in the $200,000 Group 3 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley Saturday week.

Notable gallopers who are likely running for second at best behind Sepoy in the Danehill Stakes this Saturday include Vain Stakes third placegetter Grand Britannia; Golden Slipper runner-up Mosheen who resumed with a third to Satin Shoes in the Listed Quezette Stakes (1100m) on August 13; and Blue Diamond Stakes second and third placegetters Hallowell Belle and Masthead, the Lee Freedman-trained Masthead having also run a gallant fourth to Sepoy in the Slipper last start.

Peter Moody’s Starcraft filly Hallowell Belle was eye-catching last-start when regulated into second by a mere nose in the Listed Crockett Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on August 20 after jumping from barrier 12 of 12 with Luke Nolen in the mount.

They have again suffering the ‘visitor’s draw’ this week, Hallowell Belle due to jump from gate eight with Nolen to partner as Moody looks for another win in the race his megastar mare Black Caviar took out in 2009.

Rounding out the Danehill Stakes field are relative unknowns Absalon (barrier two) and Unique Quality (barrier seven).

Jason Mclachlan’s undefeated Mossman colt Absalon was last seen winning the Listed Darello Stakes (1200m) at Doomben in June while Franki Stockdale’s well-bred Elusive Quality gelding from Danehill mare Reggae Unique Quality remains a maiden after their two starts at Caulfield to date.

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2011 Danehill Stakes Field & Barriers

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rtg.
1 1X11121X1 SEPOY Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 3 58kg 111
2 24X1344X MASTHEAD Anthony Freedman Craig Williams 5 56.5kg 78
3 11X ABSALON Jason McLachlan Brad Rawiller 2 55.5kg 70
4 142483X3 GRAND BRITANNIA Robbie Laing Glen Boss 1 55kg 76
5 24 UNIQUE QUALITY Frankie Stockdale Peter Mertens 7 55kg 65
6 90X2835 MISTER MILTON Norman Waymouth Damien Oliver 4 55kg 62
7 12X3 MOSHEEN Robert Smerdon Danny Nikolic 6 53kg 97
8 2X32X12 HALLOWELL BELLE Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 8 53kg 82