Star three-year-old Sepoy lit up the track with an electrifying barrier trial at Cranbourne on Monday ahead of the Group One Manikato Stakes later this month.
Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, the colt, who was last night crowned Australia’s champion juvenile of last season, burst from the gates and was never headed, clocking 44.9s for the 800 metres.
He gave a dominant exhibition scoring by 2-1/2 lengths from Jeteven and Waltzes.
Trainer Peter Snowden said he was surprised how fast the chestnut ran with his time more than a second quicker than any other trial.
“It was a nice trial but it surprised me how quick they ran,” Snowden said.
“They didn’t appear to be going that quickly and it was not like he put ten lengths on them.”
Snowden said Sepoy was in outstanding order and the trial was what was needed before he took on older horses in the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) under lights at Moonee Valley on September 30.
“It is next Friday week so it is not far away and he is such a gross colt you have got to be mindful of keeping the work up to him and not over-tax him,” Snowden said.
“I am really happy with him and when I came down and saw him yesterday, to me, it was the best he’s ever looked.”
The winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper last season, Sepoy won the champion two-year-old title from his stablemate Helmet who runs in Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
Helmet won the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes but raced ungenerously in blinkers when third in the Golden Rose.
The Darley team will be represented by Pinwheel in Saturday’s Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.