Sepoy is the long odds-on favourite to win Saturday’s Group Two Danehill Stakes at Flemington but trainer Peter Snowden says it will be no easy task.
The topweight with 58kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions of the $250,000 1200m event, Sepoy has to give away from 1.5kg to 5kg to his seven rivals.
The Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper Stakes winner has been beaten just once in seven starts, when runner-up to Smart Missile three starts back in the Todman Stakes, and returned in fine style with a soft win in the Vain Stakes at Caulfield on August 13.
He defeated Golden Archer by 2-1/2 lengths and that colt made it six wins from nine starts with his 1-3/4-length victory over Cross of Gold in the McNeil Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday.
“He’s good, everything is fine. His work has been good and it was good on Tuesday and I’m very happy with the horse,” Snowden said of Sepoy.
“But it’s no easy task. I’m well aware of the task ahead. He’s got to give good fillies five kilos so it’s no easybeat, but he’s a quality horse and I’m happy with him.”
Snowden said Sepoy would be handy from barrier three as is his normal racing pattern.
“He’ll be wherever he’s happy, whether he’s leading or in the first two or three,” he said.
“Kerrin (McEvoy) knows him well now. He knows what his strengths are and he’ll just ride him to that.”
Snowden is after his third win in the race having won it with Aichi in 2008 and Soul last year.
Melbourne’s reigning premier trainer Peter Moody is also chasing his third Danehill victory with Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Hallowell Belle, having previously scored with fillies Tan Tat De Lago in 2007 and superstar Black Caviar in 2009.
“Basically I wanted to give her the straight track experience with a view to later in the spring or for the autumn sprints,” Moody said.
“Obviously butting heads with Sepoy you would think there would have to be something amiss with him for anything to beat him the way he won first-up.
“She’s there to run well. She hasn’t run bad yet. She’s a gross filly that racing doesn’t hurt at all and she’s taken nice improvement from her Valley run.
Hallowell Belle was beaten 4-1/4 lengths by Sepoy in the Blue Diamond but meets him three kilograms better on this occasion.
The Starcraft filly won a Seymour maiden (1109m) when resuming and was beaten a half-head when runner-up to Kneeling in the Crockett Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, both last month.
“She had no favours at all and was left a sitting shot and was run down by a very good filly,” Moody said of the Crockett.
“She’s going to be competitive in any fillies races and in her one run against the boys she ran second to Sepoy so we’re not going to knock her form.”
Sepoy is virtually unbackable as the $1.18 favourite ahead of Hallowell Belle and Golden Slipper runner-up Mosheen at $8.50, with Blue Diamond third placegetter Masthead next at $31.