Jockey Kerrin McEvoy is going into tomorrow’s Oakleigh Plate knowing that his super three year old Sepoy is stepping out against some tough sprinters and is not just a two horse war with Bel Sprinter as betting markets indicate.
The Jason Warren trained Bel Sprinter has overtaken Sepoy as favourite in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield and has continued to firm into $2.85 with Sepoy easing to $3.25 overnight.
Warren is searching for his first Group 1 win and is happy with the four year old going into tomorrow’s race with a 4kgs advantage over the Peter Snowden’s three year old as well as drawing a more favourable barrier.
“Our horse is in terrific order and he indicates to me that he is better than what he was when he won first up so I think he has trained on,” Warren said.
Bel Sprinter will also have a fitness edge over Sepoy having scored a first up win over the Peter Moody trained Kulgrinda in the Listed $100,000 United Arab Emirates (1000m) at Caulfield three weeks ago.
“It’s not just the weights, to me it is a bit more than the 4kgs, our horse has had one run to top him off and is going to be near his best second-up.”
“Sepoy is on target to go to Dubai so he’s not going to be wound up to his best first up. There’d be a lot of improvement in him being a big gross three year old colt and I think we are in the better stage of our prep.”
The return to form of the David Hayes trained Eagle Falls has thrown the six year old into calculations but is still at the good odds of $17 on the third line of betting.
Eagle Falls who has the services of Dwayne Dunn again is chasing back to the back Oakleigh Plates and put the writing on the wall with a dominant first up win in the Group 3 $125,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield two weeks ago.
The Anthony Freedman trained First Command is racing in fine form with a win in the Listed $125,000 Kensington Stakes at Flemington on January 21 and then a hard fought second to Eagle Falls in the Rubiton.
And the up and coming African Pulse whom trainer Mike Moroney has a big opinion of, will also be in the firing line after a first up win at Caulfield on Australia Day.