Golden Slipper Stakes winner Sepoy has made a dominant spring entrance with an all-the-way win in the Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield.
The impressive-looking colt had his ears pricked all the way and was untested by jockey Kerrin McEvoy as he surged clear in the straight to win Saturday’s 1100-metre event by 2-1/2 lengths.
Entering the straight, five-time winner Golden Archer tried to go with Sepoy but had to be content with second place, a half-length ahead of Grand Britannia.
Trainer Peter Snowden was reaching for superlatives to describe Sepoy, eventually settling on “arrogant”.
“He is just a super horse,” Snowden said.
“When you look at that race he was never under pressure anywhere.
“As soon as he put a length on them he just pricked his ears and idled down.
“He is an exciting horse, just a real sprinter and he does it with ease.
“He has run 45 (seconds) for his last half-mile (800m) and won on his ear. That is impressive work.”
McEvoy said Sepoy switched off in the lead and had the race won at the top of the straight.
“He put it to bed within 50 yards once we straightened up,” McEvoy said.
“It is fair to say if something challenges there is more in the locker.”
He said that one day he would like to ride Sepoy off the pace to see him concentrate better at the end of a race but it was hard to give up taking a position on the pace when he does it so easily.
And the news doesn’t get any better for potential rivals with Snowden predicting improvement in Sepoy for his next start in the Group Two Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 3.
“It is three weeks to the Danehill and I would think he would better again,” Snowden said.
Snowden said he was mindful but not worried about the doubters who had expressed concern that Sepoy’s 14-week preparation for the spring had been too long.
“I was very confident. It was just everyone else around me was trying to put the cold water on him,” Snowden said.
“He won today just how I wanted to see him win.
“He thrives in the stable environment and just for a change we brought him to Melbourne the last three weeks just to top him off.”
Snowden said Sepoy was keen behind the gates but that was to be expected as he had not raced since April when he won the Golden Slipper Stakes, which has been a hoodoo race for winners in recent years.
“It was the first time I have seen him get a bit jog-jogging behind the gate but that was just freshness, just newness,” Snowden said.
Sepoy has won six of his seven starts and remains undefeated in four runs at Caulfield where he won the Blue Diamond Stakes in the autumn.
Snowden isn’t making plans too far ahead but said the Group One Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 30 remained on the radar for Sepoy after the Danehill.