'Boot Camp' Grad Epaulette Wins at Doomben
After setting a torrid pace, Buffering appeared ready to go on to victory in the stretch of the Aus$650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (Aus-I), but Epaulette unleashed an explosive burst of speed to charge past and win by two lengths.
Looking to have plenty of work to do on the home turn, the 3-year-old Commands colt threaded his way through rivals and stormed to the lead in the final 200 meters to secure the comfortable score under Kerrin McEvoy.
The Doomben 10,000, Brisbane's marquee weight-for-age sprint, was the third start off a six-month layoff for Epaulette, who recently got some additional time at Darley's Osborne Park training center after finishing sixth to Black Caviar's younger half brother All Too Hard in the All Aged Stakes (Aus-I) April 27. His sharpening included an extra element to pique his interest.
"We call it boot camp out there where he did a bit of jumping, which was something new for him," trainer Peter Snowden told AAP Racing.
Snowden said the race set up perfectly for Epaulette.
"They put it on for us. It was set up for a backmarker, they went ridiculous speed," he told ABC News. "I was just worried that we'd lose touch of them, but coming to the corner I was quietly confident."
Last year's winner of the race, Sea Siren, narrowly outfinished Buffering to take second in the 15-horse field.
Epaulette, at 6-1 odds, covered 1,350 meters (about 6 1/2 furlongs) in 1:18.85 on turf rated as dead. Your Song, the 3-1 favorite, finished sixth.
The race was marred when multiple group I winner Rangirangdoo broke down on the home turn and had to be euthanized. The 8-year-old Pentire gelding, trained by Chris Waller, fractured both sesamoids.
Campaigned by breeder Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Epaulette added a second group I win to his record, following his victory in the Golden Rose Stakes last September at Rosehill Gardens. The three-quarter brother to three-time group I winner Helmet improved to five wins, two seconds, and two thirds from 11 starts.
Prior to the All Aged, the colt finished second to undefeated champion Black Caviar in the T. J. Smith Stakes (Aus-I) April 13 at Randwick. He is under consideration for the Stradbroke Handicap (Aus-I) at 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs) June 8 at Eagle Farm.
Epaulette is out of the unraced Singspiel mare Accessories, who in addition to Darley's young stallion Helmet produced group III winner Bullbars, runner-up in the 2011 Australian Guineas (Aus-I). He is one of three group I winners this year for Commands, who has 57 stakes winners and nine group I winner overall and stands at Darley Kelvinside.
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