An expectation that Peter Moody would have his first metropolitan winner since a return to training has ended in disappointment.
Moody sent out Shepard as a heavily supported favourite but the northern hemisphere-bred stayer couldn’t deliver on a rain-affected track at Flemington.
Shepard carried $3.90 to $3.20 backing in the Rogan Josh Stayers Trophy (2500m) and the early signs looked promising.
Jockey Luke Nolen was able to send Shepard forward from an outside barrier but when the tempo increased, the last-start winner was one of the first horses beaten.
Shepard gave Moody a comeback win at Ballarat after the trainer who guided Black Caviar throughout an unbeaten career left the sport in controversial circumstances in 2016.
As Shepard dropped out to finish worse than midfield, the Matt Cumani-trained Sasko ($21) relished a heavy track for his second win in as many starts.
Sasko won a minor race during the Warrnambool Cup carnival and enhanced an already solid record in the wet to lead throughout for apprentice Michael Poy.
Poy made the race a true staying test from the middle stages and Sasko did the rest in a clear-cut win.
“He loves it soft. He just gets through it and makes it hard for the other horses, particularly with his style of running,” Cumani said.