Darley colt Epaulette further confirmed the strength of the current crop of three-year-olds to produce a flying finish and claim the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) today.
With some serious speedsters going hard in front, the race was set up for those who could emerge from the pack and it was Epaulette who delivered the best turn of foot.
With Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, the Commands colt took advantage of the genuine tempo to defeat Sea Siren and an always game Buffering.
It was the second Group 1 win of Epaulette’s career after claiming the Golden Rose in the spring.
McEvoy described it as a “dream” to win the Queensland feature sprint but he’s not done yet. Darley’s number one jockey will partner Epaulette again in two weeks time when he contests the $1.36 million Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm.
“It’s a dream to win this race,” McEvoy said.
“It’s [the Stradbroke] going to be right up his alley as well. It’ll be interesting to see how he comes out of this and I’m very much looking forward to that race.”
Trainer Peter Snowden believes he has now unlocked the key to the star colt, suggesting he races his best when kept fresh.
“He’s got a dynamic turn of foot when he is fresh and I”ll keep that in mind for a fortnight’s time,” Snowden said.
“It was sort of set up for a back marker…coming to the corner I was quietly confident.
“Within the last 200m he really did find. He was great, that was fantastic to watch.”
Runner-up Sea Siren appears set for an trip to Royal Ascot after showing a promising return to form while Group 1 bridesmaid Buffering scored his eighth minor placing in the top grade.
Favourite Your Song tried to match the early speed of Buffering and paid the price as he faded late to finish sixth.
In sad twist to a great race, dual Group 1 winner Rangirangdoo was put down after breaking down past the 600m mark.