It wasn’t too pretty but star colt Sepoy maintained his unbeaten spring record with a hard-fought victory over Foxwedge in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
Sent out favourite as he has been in all but one of his 11 starts, Sepoy ($1.30) dug deep at the end of the 1200 metres to hold off Foxwedge ($16) by a head with the only filly in the field, Satin Shoes ($61), another 1-1/2 lengths away third.
Trainer Peter Snowden, who will lose the colt next year when he joins the Godolphin team in Europe, said the fact it was such a tough win showed how resilient Sepoy was.
“It was very satisfying,” Snowden said.
“He’s had five hard runs, five runs at the top level.
“He’s only a young horse and to stay up as long as he has it’s full credit to the horse.
“It was a narrow margin but it was a really good effort.
“He’s a great horse.”
Snowden brought the Golden Slipper winner back to the stable in May to prepare for his three-year-old campaign which began with victory in the Listed Vain Stakes on August 13 at Caulfield.
He then claimed the Group Two Danehill Stakes at Flemington before comprehensively beating older rivals in the Manikato Stakes.
That was followed by the Group Two Caulfield Sprint with Saturday’s Coolmore win his swansong for the year.
“He will go for a spell now and come back in the autumn,” Snowden said.
“He’s peaked three times this campaign and is showing signs of coming to the end.
“I will get him ready for a couple of starts in the autumn. I would like to get him over there (England) as good as I can and ready to race.”
The decision to spell Sepoy has ruled out any hope of him taking on Black Caviar in next Saturday’s Patinack Farm Classic but the placegetters could be there.
Foxwedge and Satin Shoes are both raced by Dr Edmund Bateman and trained by John O’Shea and Clarry Conners respectively.
“They are both entered,” Bateman said, “but we’ll see.”
Conners was thrilled with the performance of Satin Shoes but O’Shea was shattered to come so close to Sepoy.
“I’m numb, I’m feeling sick,” he said.
Rider Nash Rawiller felt much the same.
“I basically had a nice cart along behind them out of the wind,” he said.
“All credit to the winner, I thought we were going to get him 50 metres out but he just kept doing enough to keep us out.
“Another stride though and we beat it.”
Sepoy has been beaten just once in his 11 starts when Smart Missile claimed him in the Todman Stakes in March.