Trainer Peter Snowden will recommend champion three-year-old Sepoy contest the Group One Manikato Stakes next start after he burst past $3 million in earnings with a workmanlike win in the Danehill Stakes at Flemington.
Sepoy races with a touch of arrogance and jockey Kerrin McEvoy needed to show him the whip 400 metres out for him to assert his authority in Saturday’s feature down the straight.
McEvoy didn’t hurt the dominant $1.14 favourite in the 1200-metre event and he scored by a length from Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Hallowell Belle with Unique Quality, who led Sepoy early in the race, a long neck back third.
It was the Golden Slipper winner’s smallest winning margin since his race debut victory by a length in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes at Flemington in October.
But for Snowden the win was the important thing and he was happy.
“A win is a win,” Snowden said.
“Whether it is an inch or 10 lengths it doesn’t matter to me. He did the job well.
“We wanted to hold him up today as he jumps and he leads and we don’t want that to be the pattern all the time.
“I said to Kerrin just jump and ride him as he is and sit there as long as you can.
“We wanted to get him to breathe and relax and he quickened when we wanted.
“Everything I asked him to do he did for me.”
Snowden said he would recommend to owner Sheikh Mohammed and the rest of the Darley team that Sepoy run in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) under lights at Moonee Valley on September 30.
He said Sepoy was a gross colt and that nearly a month between runs was a long time for him but the wait could be worth it.
“To wait a month for his next start is not an ideal scenario for a bloke like him but it is certainly a big carrot to dangle,” Snowden said.
“It is a Group One race, it is a magnificent race, it is a stallion-making race so we certainly have to look at it in a big way.”
McEvoy said Sepoy was coasting against horses his own age and the Manikato would be the challenge he needs.
“He is dominating the three-year-olds he is racing against down here and I can’t wait to get him in another real good (race),” McEvoy said.
“That’s when you might see him switch on and even give more. That is the exciting thing about him.
“I just had to stoke him up a bit approaching the 400 metres today but he was probably looking for the bend as well as he hasn’t raced down the straight for a little while.
“He was doing it pretty easy once I did stoke him up but I could hear someone back behind me so gave him a few taps to make him hit the line.”
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