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Eptimum could back-up in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes

Paul Vautin is well known as an ex-NRL player and long-time presenter of The Footy Show until his recent sacking.

But he has still found a role in front of the camera as a shareholder in a Group Three winner at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day.

An old friend of Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds, Vautin cheered on three-year-old Eptimum ($11) who led all the way to take out Saturday’s Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) by an impressive three lengths from Single Bullet ($5.50) with the $3.30 favourite Trekking another 2-3/4 lengths third.

“I’m a mate of Toby’s and we play golf together and he offered me a share in this horse,” Vautin said.

“I was in a horse called Elegancy in the 90s who was trained by Tony Vasil and he won a lot of races.

“This is the best one I’ve been in since then.”

Edmonds was impressed with Eptimum’s effort from the outside barrier under Ryan Maloney and said there was a chance the gelding could back up in next week’s Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.

“It wasn’t our plan to lead,” he said.

“We weren’t keen to go back to the inside but as it turned out that’s where he ended up.

“We will have a think about next week’s race. It all depends on the horse.”

Maloney is not the highest profile jockey but has reaped the rewards of two wins on country Victorian tracks while Eptimum has been in the state.

“”I’m absolutely stoked,” he said.

“Toby Edmonds is a great trainer and a great bloke. He gave me the opportunity and stuck with me.

“This is what I ride for. This is why I get up at 3am.”

Maloney also thanked his wife before outlining his plans for the rest of the day.

“I’ll be getting an Uber home and I won’t be coming home until stumps so I’ll probably be in the doghouse but it’s all worth it.”

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