Sepoy wins the Golden Slipper
Sepoy wins the Golden Slipper

Click above to watch Sepoy winning the Golden Slipper (Gr1)

(Photo : SMH - Footage : Sky Racing)


Rosehill, Turf, 1200m

2 April 2011

One of the most over-used words in the Australian dialect is ‘sensational’.

Yesterday at Rosehill its use was, however, for once appropriate, writes Darryl Sherer for Australia and New Zealand Bloodstock News.

With half the field loaded for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (Group 1, 1200m) the second favourite Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) became fractious and got his front leg over the stall partition and was then backed out of his stall.

With vet Joe Bruyn unable to converse with chief steward Ray Murrihy because of a break in and alleged theft of two-way radios from the Stewards room in the grandstand, the 6/1 second-favourite was withdrawn with jockey Glen Boss’ annoyance visible to all.

Once the barriers opened it was business as usual for Darley-homebred Sepoy (Elusive Quality), who confirmed his place as the best juvenile in Australia or New Zealand convincingly. Enjoying a textbook ride from Kerrin McEvoy, who positioned Sepoy in fourth place along the inside, the powerful chestnut shouldered Foxwedge (Fastnet Rock) out of the way once into the straight and then powered his way to a second Group 1 victory and the double of Australia’s two major juvenile races.

Sepoy had two-lengths to spare over 100/1 chance Mosheen (Fastnet Rock), making just her second start, with Elite Falls (More Than Ready) running on well along the inside to take third place in front of Masthead (Written Tycoon).

In winning, Sepoy becomes just the fifth horse to complete the Blue Diamond Stakes (Group 1, 1200m) / Golden Slipper (Group 1, 1200m) double, joining Courtza (Pompeii Court) (1989); Bounding Away (Biscay) (1986) Manikato (Manihi) (1978) and John’s Hope (Wilkes) (1972). An emotional trainer Peter Snowden was struggling for words afterwards. “I’ve worked my whole life for this,” Snowden told TVN. “Everyone has got a signature race and this has been mine. This is the best feeling of my life.”

The magnitude of the win was not solely confined to Sydney either as John Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohammed, who watched the race live in Dubai, revealed. “To be here today is very special. I’ve just spoken to Sheikh Mohammed and he said ‘He is a machine’, it’s a very, very special day for all of the 340 people that work for Darley in Australia. Sheikh Mohammed was convinced that Peter (Snowden) had the qualities to be our head trainer and he (Peter) has repaid that 100 times over.”

On the winner, Ferguson described the son of Elusive Quality as a ‘very, very special horse’. Asked about future plans, Ferguson preferred to concentrate on the moment. “He’s a wonderful, champion two-year-old and we hope he can go on and be a top three-year-old, after that, who knows, he can always travel.”

Trainer Anthony Cummings and jockey Glen Boss were with stewards immediately afterwards regarding the withdrawal of Smart Missile. Chief Steward Ray Murrihy explained that the vet had to rule if a horse was strung up for any length of time and in Smart Missile’s case it was 40 seconds.

Cummings said he will give Smart Missile a jump-out early next week to satisfy stewards the colt is able to run in the Sires’ Produce (Group 1, 1400m) on Saturday.

“It doesn’t make it any easier that he had beaten Sepoy,” he said, “but he’s still the only unbeaten horse to go home tonight.”

Sepoy (2 c Elusive Quality - Watchful, by Danehill) has now won five of his six starts and earned AU$2,908,500.

Extract from ANZ Bloodstock News