Epaulette’s performance in today’s Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm will help map out the future for the high class three year old.
Trainer Peter Snowden will meet with the bosses of Darley after the Stradbroke to decide the options available for of the Commands colt.
The three options on the table for Epaulette is for the colt to stay on with Snowden and line up in the Spring, get shipped off to England to race under the Godolphin banner or follow other high profile three year olds All Too Hard, Pierro and Your Song to the commence stud duties.
But Epaulette has a huge task facing him today having to hump 56kg as well as needing plenty of luck from barrier seventeen.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy says that a trouble free run in the eighteen horse field could negate the wide draw and his job is to give Epaulette the right run to repeat his winning effort in the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben two weeks ago.
“The barrier is not the end of the world because Epaulette is a get-back horse anyway. If we follow the right horse and get in the right lane then it’s not a huge issue,” McEvoy said said.
“Epaulette is weighted up as high as we like but the horse is in good shape and hopefully he can go out all guns blazing and try to win another Group 1.”
If McEvoy is currently sharing the most Group 1 wins for the season with Hugh Bowman with seven wins and both jockeys have great chances of adding to their winning tally today.
As well as Epaulette, McEvoy will be aboard Paximadia in the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm J.J. Atkins (1600m) and Zagami in the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m).
While Bowman has three good rides in the Group 1s with Vilanova for Chris Waller in the J. J. Atkins, Usainity in the The Derby and Decision Time in the Stradbroke.
“If I can finish the season as leading Group 1 rider, then that would cap a really good season for myself and the whole team at Darley,” McEvoy said.
The Antony Cummings trained Your Song is at the top of Stradbroke betting at $4.80 with Epaulette and Sizzling sharing the next line of betting at $7.
Top weight Buffering and Better Than Ready are quoted at $8 with Streama next in the betting at $13.
The Eagle Farm track has been rated a dead 4 with the Bureau Of Meteorology forecasting afternoon showers.