Epaulette to target Melbourne Group 1 sprints

By: Mark Mazzaglia
August 2nd, 2013

Darley’s top performer Epaulette will be aimed towards a sprinting Group 1 double during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.


Epaulette winning the Doomben 10,000 during Brisbane Winter Carnival. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Epaulette scored his second Group 1 win beating Sea Siren in the $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 25 and was then sent out as one of the fancies in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm two weeks later.

The Peter Snowden trained three year old was set an enormous task with 56kg from barrier seventeen and did a good job to finish only four lengths from Linton in tenth position.

Epaulette, who won the first Group 1 of the season in beating stablemate Albrecht in the  Group 1 $1m Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 15, was sent straight to the paddock after the Stradbroke for a short break but looks likely to miss the Sydney Carnival and target the main sprint races in Melbourne.

“Epaulette is a fair way behind since he raced in Brisbane but we will be targeting the main two sprints in Melbourne, being the Manikato and the VRC Classic,” Darley Australian bloodstock manger Jason Walsh told the Sportsman.

Snowden has plenty of time to get Epaulette ready for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and then have a nice two week buffer heading into the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.

The team at Darley also have a big opinion of Sessions so much so that the Lonhro four year old could be lining up against Epaulette in the Patinack Farm Classic on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Sessions scored at his first run back from a break over 1100m at Rosehill on June 15 in restricted company and will be tested at stakes level in the Group 3 $125,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 7.

“He may look to kick off in a race like the Concorde and if he gets to the level we think the VRC Classic is on the table for him. We think he is a very talented horse with plenty of upside,” Walsh said.

Darley and Snowden will have a strong hand at all levels in the upcoming Spring and are looking forward to carry on their great 2012-2013 success which saw Snowden claim the national trainer’s premiership as well as training the most stakes winners with 46 wins in Group and Listed races, including five Group 1 victories.

Dual Group 1 winner Guelph will tackle the three year old fillies races in Sydney before heading to Melbourne for the  Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 16.

While Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep will be set for the Golden Rose Stakes on September 14 then move onto Melbourne for the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2.

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