Three year old Epaulette could be the knock out horse for the Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday according to his trainer Peter Snowden.
Snowden has freshened the Commands colt up since running sixth to All Too Hard in the Group 1 $400,000 Yarraman Park All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 27 and will go into the Doomben 10,000 four weeks in between runs.
But that was Snowden’s plan and he is relying on Epaulette’s good fresh form for him to be very competitive against BTC Cup winner Your Song, Rain Affair and top local sprinters Buffering and Better Than Ready.
“Epaulette has been freshened after the All Aged Stakes, and he’s had a trial at Rosehill,” Snowden said.
“I didn’t want to run him in the BTC Cup and give him too many runs. He goes well fresh. It’s worked for him before.”
Snowden’s thinking is that the horses who ran in the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm on May 11 had a tough run on the heavy track and would have taken a lot longer to recover than normal.
“I ran Rarefied in that race, he’s an old campaigner, and even an old horse like him took four or five days to get over it,” Snowden said.
“That type of track you really handle or you go terribly on. There’s no in-between. Rarefied was a really fit horse, but he was still knocked around.
But Snowden was also quick to acknowledge the ability of Your Song who handled the track conditions and the step up to Group 1 company with relative ease.
“Your Song was flattered big time by the wet track, but there’s no way I’ll dismiss him on Saturday. He really excelled last start and got through it like it was dry,” Snowden added.
Even though Rain Affair is a renowned mudlark, he couldn’t match it with Your Song over the concluding stages of the BTC Cup and was beaten five lengths in the run to the line.
Third placegetter Better Than Ready and Buffering will be better suited back on top of the ground with Epaulette untried on anything worse than dead.
Epaulette scored at Group 1 level in the Spring against his own age in the when he beat stablemate Albrecht in the $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 15.
The Commands colt then went on to score over 1400m in the Group 3 $175,000 BECK Caulfield Guineas Prelude at Caulfield on September 30 before finishing third to All Too Hard in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13.
Anthony Cummings has reported that Your Song has pulled up in great order and is looking forward to the $2.80 Doomben 10,000 favourite adding another Group 1 win to his credit.
Group 1 bridesmaid Buffering is the second pick at $4 with Epaulette on the third line of betting at $6 just in front of Rain Affair at $7.50 with Better Than Ready at $10.