Older sprinters swept aside by Sepoy

Sepoy will sidestep champion mare Black Caviar despite putting older sprinters to the sword in the G1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

Sepoy (3c Elusive Quality – Watchful by Danehill) became the first three-year-old since Redoute’s Choice in 1999 to win the 1200m weight-for-age sprint.  There were no excuses for the beaten division.  After a slow getaway and being softened up in front, the Darley homebred stretched the minor margins to five lengths in the straight.

“That was his best win yet,” trainer Peter Snowden said.  “He met the A graders and to my mind had the race covered a long way out.”

His next assignment will be the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on October 29.  Black Caviar will fly down the straight-six the following Saturday in the G1 Patinack Farm Classic.

Snowden signalled Sepoy’s priority was the Coolmore against his own age group when Sheikh Mohammed is scheduled to visit Flemington.

“That would be the icing on the cake,” Snowden said.  “Black Caviar is a champion and we are long way her yet.  But he’s a very smart horse who is still on the way up.”

Earlier this year, Sepoy became the first horse to complete the Blue Diamond – Golden Slipper double since Courtza in 1989.  He is from the penultimate southern crop of Darley sire Elusive Quality who shuttled to Australia until 2008.  

Sepoy’s dam Watchful is a sister to G1 Queensland Derby winner Camarena (Danehill).  She has a 2yo colt named Mulaazem (Dubai Destination) and foaled a Domesday filly on September 4.

Darley has forecast an international campaign for Sepoy after the spring carnival.  The showdown with Black Caviar could come at the Royal Ascot meeting in June 2012.