Staying mare Epingle will head to the 2015 Brisbane Cup after she returned to winning form with a strong effort in the 2015 Chairman’s Handicap at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Epingle had not recorded a race win since she took out the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) in Tasmania over 12 months ago and she started her autumn campaign with a poor effort behind Noble Protector in the Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 14, but a freshen-up and a step-up in distance worked wonders for the Pins mare.
Glen Boss cut the corner on Index Linked and looked like he had the race won at the 250 metre mark, but Epingle responded extremely well when asked for an extra effort from jockey Hugh Bowman to score the sixth race win of her racing career in the Chairman’s Handicap.
Trainer Mick Kent revealed after the race that Epingle would be retired at the end of her 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign to bring a new career as a broodmare and he is hopeful that the seven-year-old can go out a winner of the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben on June 6.
“I couldn’t believe the price, I thought that she would be second favourite in that race,” Kent said.
“She hasn’t raced for a few weeks, but she has been working really well at home and the drop in grade and the step-up in trip really suits her.
“She is a very natural stayer and she doesn’t need much work.
“She had a trial at home before she came up and she has really thrived since she has been here.
“That is our plan (to head to the Brisbane Cup).
“We sort of avoided Sydney to try and win a Group 2 because this will be her last prep and she will go to stud at the end of the season.
“She has been a great little mare, she hasn’t had the best of luck all of the time because she always draws bad and gets back, but getting that right spot on the speed today was the key – she is always very hard to beat from there.”
Tremec reared up in the gates just before the start of the Chairman’s Handicap and missed the start by about four lengths, which forced jockey Brenton Avdulla to make a midrace move on the ATC Chairman’s Handicap winner and he tired late to miss the placings.