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Epaulette to run in Stradbroke Handicap

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Darley trainer Peter Snowden will run Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 despite the colt being asked to carry 56kg.

epaulette

Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette to run in Stradbroke Handicap. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Snowden had suggested that the three year old might be a non-runner if he was badly treated when weights were released yesterday, saying that it would be huge burden for a three year old to carry that weight.

“If Epaulette got 56kg, in my opinion I would have to think twice about running,” Snowden said.

“I would have thought around 54kg was a reasonable weight for a Stradbroke.”

But Snowden has accepted the handicapper’s verdict and will give Epaulette his chance to win a third Group 1 feature.

Racing Queensland Handicapper Nathan Bourke said that he could have realistically given the Commands colt a little more, but 56kg was the minimum that would feel comfortable with.

“It could be argued that he should have been given a fraction more and I really don’t think we could have given him anything less,” Bourke said.

“He is a dual Group One winner now and his form is exceptional including a third in the Caulfield Guineas to the two glamour colts,” Bourke said.

“He also ran second to Black Caviar so his form is outstanding.”

Since winning the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill in the Spring last year, Epaulette has raced in the highest of company including a creditable third to high profile colts All Too Hard and Pierro in the  Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13.

Then at his first run for the Autumn, Epaulette chased home super mare Black Caviar in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 13.

He then ran sixth to All Too Hard in the Group 1 $400,000 Yarraman Park All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 27 before producing his best run to win the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.

Snowden had also indicated that if Darley had decided to miss the Stradbroke Handicap, Epaulette could have been a surprise visitor to Royal Ascot in June with the Group 1 £350,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) or the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) suitable races.

Epaulette shot to the head of Stradbroke betting after his Doomben 10,000 win and is currently at $4.40 with three year old rival Better Than Ready at $6 and BTC Cup winner Your Song at $8.50.

The Robert Heathcote trained pair Buffering and Solzhenitsyn are next in the betting at $9 and $12 respectively.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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