Monday, 20 August 2012
: Epaulette, the horse who came closest to beating Pierro last season, is trainer Peter Snowden's tip to fill a void left by Sepoy and Helmet.
The three-year-old trainer Peter Snowden rates as potentially the next banner horse for Darley will be among several high-profile spring candidates to contest Sydney barrier trials on Tuesday.
Snowden has anointed Epaulette as the horse most likely to deliver in 2012-2013 for the global racing and breeding empire for which he trains.
Epaulette hasn't been since in public since the Golden Slipper but he will take his most important step so far towards the spring when he contests a 900m heat against his own kind at Rosehill.
The overseas departures and subsequent retirements of Sepoy and Epaulette's half-brother Helmet have left a void in Darley's racing team.
Between them, Sepoy and Helmet collected seven Group One victories last year.
Epaulette came closest to beating the undefeated triple crown colt Pierro when he ran the Golden Slipper winner to a short half-head in the Todman Stakes.
And while there was almost six lengths between them at their next start in the Golden Slipper, Snowden said the result was not a true indication of his colt's class.
"In the Slipper he was just out of play in the three strides when he came out of the gate so in my opinion it was just a run we had to put behind us," Snowden said.
"I feel he has got a lot more to offer. He's a lightly-raced horse and he'll probably be my headline horse going into the spring.
"He'll trial at Rosehill and then run in the Run To The Rose and the Golden Rose after that.
"Then we'll see which route we take ... but I feel seven furlongs to a mile will be his best trip."
Beyond the Sydney carnival, Epaulette holds an entry for the Caulfield Guineas - the Group One mile (1600m) for three-year-olds won by Helmet last year - as well as the Cox Plate.
Group One winners Streama, Rangirangdoo and Shoot Out are due to be seen in public for the first time since the autumn when they clash in a Rosehill heat while Stradbroke winner Sincero will step out for the second time since the Doncaster Mile when he competes in a separate trial.
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