He mightn't handle a wet track. He's never raced outside of his own age. He's going to find it hard drawn in on the rail. These were the queries surrounding 3 year old colt Sepoy leading up to the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley. But Peter Snowdon's superstar quickly put rest to these statements with a dominating win in the Group 1 Friday night feature.
"For me that's his best win", the popular trainer said after Sepoy pulled away in the Valley straight to win by over 2 lengths from Sister Madly. Star mare More Joyous ran in to third place ahead of Buffering, 3 lengths further back.
"He met the 'A' graders and he beat them easily", Snowdown said after the race. He had a weight advantage but he had the race covered a fair way out".
Sepoy did a lot of work early to keep the inside rail, jumping slightly when the gates opened and getting into a battle up front with last start Valley winner Buffering.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy was a little worried at the start but that all changed to confidence coming into the final 2 furlongs. "I wasn't far off giving up my spot because he had me working, but three strides later I was rapt I didn't", McEvoy said.
"He saved his petrol for the kick home and I was pretty confident at 400 metres. I think it was his best win".
There was immediately much speculation about a matchup with undefeated champion Black Caviar in the Patinack Stakes, but it is unlikely that will happen. Sepoy will probably go to the Caulfield Spring over 1100 metres on Caulfield Cup day, and then contest the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.
Despite the terrible Melbourne weather on Friday night, Moonee Valley racing put on a great show. In the Group 2 Stutt Stakes, Chase The Rainbow stepped up as a legitimate Derby contender with a dominant win over the other 3 year olds.
And in the Group 3 JRA Cup, Dream Pedlar beat a reduced field, to put up his hand as a potential starter in the Caulfield Cup in a fortnight.