Golden Slipper winner Sepoy will have to set an Oakleigh Plate weight carrying record if he is to take out the $400,000 Group 1 (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Sepoy has been allocated 58kgs for his return to racing and will have to produce a weight carrying record for three year olds to take out Caulfield’s premier sprint.
Trainer Peter Snowden is still undecided if he is going to run the multiple group 1 winner under the large impost but that would mean that Sepoy wouldn’t have a run before heading over to Dubai for the World Cup meeting.
“I’ll talk to my team today on what their thoughts are. The only issue is the weight issue. Can he give that much weight away and still win?” Snowden said.
“I’ll make my mind up tomorrow but looking at the horse I can’t believe how much he’s improved from his trial last Friday week.”
Snowden was quite impressed with the three year olds work this morning and said that fitness wasn’t an issue even though he hasn’t raced since winning the Group1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day at Flemington last October.
“He looks in superb order, his work was as sharp as I’ve ever seen him this morning, he looks great,” he said.
“It wouldn’t be on the score of fitness, it’s just whether we think the job is a bit beyond him with the weight that he has.”
Sepoy has only been beaten once from eleven starts when run down by Smart Missle in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) but bounced back immediately winning the Golden Slipper at his very next start.
Apart from the Golden Slipper and the Coolmore Stud Stakes, the Elusive Quality colt’s other Group 1 wins are the $500,000 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and the $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Racing Victoria handicapper Neil Jennings justifies his 58kgs assessment, comparing him to Fastnet Rock who has the weight carrying record for three year olds when he won the 2005 Oakleigh Plate with 57kgs.
“He has tasted defeat only once in an 11-start career and being a four-time Group 1 winner, his racetrack performances are far superior to those of Fastnet Rock,” Jennings said.
Sepoy will have to line up against previous Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls who is carrying the same weight as he did last year, 57kgs, and up and coming sprinter four year old Bel Sprinter (54kgs) who resumed from a spell with a commanding win over the Peter Moody trained Kulgrinda in the United Arab Emirates Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 4.
If Snowden goes against a start at Caulfield on Saturday, he will have to barrier trial his star sprinter before he heads off to Dubai to run in the $US2 million Golden Shaheen (1200m) possibly against champion mare Black Caviar.
“We can just trial him again,” he said. “Trial him next Friday and then again before he goes which is not a bad thing but for mine a race is worth two barrier trials.
“The atmosphere, the benefit they get from a run, I think it’s worth double what a barrier trial does for them.
“We’ll have a talk today and make a decision in the morning.”
Snowden is happy with the progress of his Blue Diamond runners Rusambo and Applegate but had mixed luck at the barrier draw.
Flemington winner Applegate draw the inside while Rusambo drew sixteen in the field of twenty with all four emergencies drawing inside him.
“I thought they both worked very sharply. They did a good piece of work and did it nicely, recovered quickly so hopefully they are as good as I can get them,” he said.
“Neither one of them is Sepoy but they both go into the race in good form.”