With the exception of Black Caviar there is probably no more anticipated return in the spring than that of Peter Snowden’s star juvenile Sepoy.
The Golden Slipper champion lost only the one race during the autumn in a period where he dominated his opposition convincingly and consistently.
In addition to his Golden Slipper triumph he also won the Blue Diamond Stakes series and has been billed as one of the best prospects in recent history.
He returns this Saturday in the Vain Stakes at Caulfield and jockey Kerrin McEvoy is under no illusions as to how much pressure will be on him.
He’s the highest rated two year old in over 10 years and his three year old season could elevate him to one of Darley’s most valuable horses.
So much depends on his performance first up in the Vain Stakes and McEvoy says even for him it will be a case of wait and see.
“The pressure is on for sure,” McEvoy said.
“Whenever you see a brilliant two-year-old resume there is always a question mark surrounding whether they can produce again the following season.
“Sepoy was obviously a very special two-year-old and now a stallion in the making so you would like to see him improve on what he achieved and keep up his record.”
The jockey has ridden him recently in an unofficial jump out but until they encounter a full scale race they won’t know exactly where he stands.
“There is no doubt that Peter (Snowden) hasn’t got him fully wound up but he is in good enough shape to win,” he said.
“His gallop the other week was more than satisfactory and to me I feel he has matured physically, he is a much stronger animal.”
That is the test for Snowden as a trainer, presenting the horse in good enough shape to win but not getting to the bottom of him too soon.
He says with the ultimate aim being the Coolmore Stud Stakes towards the end of the carnival perhaps we shouldn’t expect too much too soon.
“He’s nowhere near his top. I’ve set a program to go through to the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington,” Snowden said.
“But he’s been in work three months so he is ready to run very well.”