Peter Snowden may have missed out on the Cox Plate win with his gallant galloper Helmet, but the masterful horseman heads to Flemington this Saturday for Victoria Derby Day and is all but assured of a Group 1 win in the 2011 Coolmore Stud Stakes with his ace three-year-old Sepoy.
A crack nine-race Victoria Derby Day program features four elite levels, including the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) which drew 12 nominees.
Set to start the odds-on favourite in the Coolmore Stud Stakes markets at Luxbet is Elusive Quality colt Sepoy, already a triple Group 1 winner, $3.5 million earner and recently elevated to 15th in the World Thoroughbred Rankings.
There is no stopping stallion-in-the-making Sepoy who has won nine of their 10 career starts to date, including last season’s Golden Slipper and more recently the Group 1 Mankato Stakes at the Valley which put to bed any queries of their ability to handle a Slow track or open-age rivals.
Sepoy was last seen running away with a soft win in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) on October 15, and will vie for their third thoroughbred major on Saturday.
With the staying three-year-olds set to contest the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), Sepoy looks to have the classic sprint in the bag as the 119-rated champion’s closest-rated rival is Satin Shoes (98).
Clarry Conner’s Flying Spur filly Satin Shoes may be speedy and coming off a last-start win at Caulfield (in a non-black-type), but she was well beaten in her three starts leading up to that and was certainly no match for Sepoy when they met in the Slipper and she finished ninth behind him.
Other Notable 2011 Coolmore Stud Stakes Nominees Include:
- Aeronautical (Lionel Cohen) – Encosta De Lago gelding won The Rosebud in August before finishing sixth to Saturday’s Derby favourite Manawanui in the Golden Rose, last seen running fifth in a five horse field in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 1
- Foxwedge (John O’Shea) – Roman Consul Stakes winner last time out, this Fastnet Rock colt has been right in the finish all the way through their career including their Golden Rose fourth, Run To The Rose second and San Domenico win this season but is just a class below a horse like Sepoy
- Masthead (Anthony Freedman) – Very consistent three-year-old who ran fourth in the Slipper as a two-year-old, the closest of the Stud Stakes hopefuls, came up against Sepoy again in the Danehill at Flemington when running an eye-catching fourth, was just beaten in the Roman Consul when a nose behind Foxwedge and was again edged out of a win at Caulfield last-start in the Listed Australia Stakes by another Snowden-trained runner Galah
- Hot Snitzel (Gerald Ryan) – Snitzel colt was in brilliant form in Brisbane during the winter winning the Sires Produce by three lengths before their TJ Smith second, resumed with a gritty first-up victory in a Listed, 1200m sprint at Randwick on October 15 and is likely to start second favourite in the markets if accepted.
Victoria Derby Day acceptances, including the Coolmore Stud Stakes final field, are due for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2011 Coolmore Stud Stakes Nominations
|1||ADAMANTIUM (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||78|
|3||BEAR HERO||David Ferraris||82|
|5||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||–|
|7||SATIN SHOES||Clarry Conners||98|
|9||SHOPAHOLIC (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||70|
|11||UNIQUE QUALITY||Frankie Stockdale||72|