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Following a swansong Australian race appearance during the autumn in Melbourne, the Peter Snowden-trained star duo Helmet and Sepoy both have a date with the 2012 Dubai World Cup meeting next March as the currently Darley-owned champions exit Oz and enter the international spotlight.
Dubai World Cup Night is the racing world’s night of nights, the richest and most prestigious thoroughbred event held anywhere across the globe, and Snowden looks forward to seeing over his heroic colts for their international debut before they join the iconic Godolphin operation.
Carrying Goldolphin’s famed royal blue colours, while racing under Snowden’s name for a final time, current four-time Group 1 champion Sepoy will be targeted at the Group 1 Golden Shaheen (1200m) at Meydan, the latest leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.
Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet will be aimed at the Group 1 UAE Derby (2000m) on the same evening of elite racing action.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to take these two colts over there and I feel very privileged,” Snowden said.
“I’ll train them there on that night, they’ll race in the Godolphin colours and then after that night they’ll go to their new trainer.”
Snowden said he was humbled by the opportunity to have his name listed as a trainer for Godolphin, especially in Dubai.
“Dubai is a long way from Warwick Farm and it is even further form Scone,” the leading Sydney horseman said.
“No one knows more than me how big an opportunity I have been given, the whole opportunity of being here in itself is big enough but to be given this, it is just mind blowing.
“Hopefully I can just return serve and do the horses proud, Australia proud and Godolphin proud, I will certainly be trying my best.”
Their overseas assault on the Dubai World Cup Night 2012, scheduled for March 31, was confirmed by Darley Australia managing director Henry Plumptre.
“They (Sepoy and Helmet) were always going to go overseas but it has been decided the time is right at the Dubai meeting,” Plumptre said.
“Both Sepoy and Helmet have achieved so much in Australia and it makes sense for them to go for international honours in Dubai and Europe.
“Peter Snowden, who has trained them brilliantly, will oversee their preparations for Dubai and hopefully the two horses will enjoy exciting campaigns in 2012.”
Following the Dubai World Cup, Sepoy and Helmet will begin a new phase of their already illustrious careers at the almighty Godolphin’s UK headquarters where they will begin preparations for a summer campaign in the northern hemisphere, Saeed bin Suroor to take over training duties.
Sepoy, winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes – Golden Slipper double as a two-year-old, is expected to appear at the Royal Ascot Carnival during our winter where a mouth-watering clash with Australia’s turf darling Black Caviar is on the cards in the Golden Jubilee Stakes(1200m).
Defeated just once in his 11-start career to date that has produced an incredible $3.87 million in prize money, Sepoy is also set to contest the July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket.
Snowden was unsure whether the son of Elusive Quality would be given another run down under, or whether their gritty Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) success at Flemington on October 29 would turn out to be their swansong.
“Sepoy might have one (start) in Melbourne or he could just barrier trial a couple of times,” he said.
If Sepoy does have another run in Australia, Snowden said it would most likely be in the $350,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25, 2012.
“A race like the Oakleigh Plate could be ideal if we think he needs a run here first, if not he could go over fresh with a couple of trials,” Snowden said.
As for their high-profile stablemate, Exceed And Excel three-year-old Helmet who was last seen running eighth as the beaten favourite in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22, Snowden suggested they could have two starts during the 2012 Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“Helmet is a little bit different because he is racing in the Derby, he will need to have two runs before he goes,” he said.
“At this stage, it is not locked in, it suits to run February 18 in the CS Hayes Stakes and then a fortnight later is the Australian Guineas over a mile.
“To me it looks the right scenario but things change.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to follow all the latest autumn and international horse racing news on Helmet and Sepoy.
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