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Golden Shaheen: Sepoy in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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Godolphin's supremo Sheikh Mohammed owns one of the top contenders for the Golden Shaheen (G1) on World Cup night. And his runner, a swift colt named Sepoy, comes from an unusual source, as he is an Australian champion.

A winner of 10 of his 12 races down under, Sepoy is a very exciting young sprinter. Bred by Darley Stud, he was foaled in late September and is a son of Elusive Quality out of the Danehill mare Watchful. His dam is as an Australian product, while both his sire and broodmare sire were both bred in the USA. Elusive Quality and Danehill are stallions that can pass on speed, and Sepoy has plenty of it. He has won four Group One events in Australia.

His first became widely known after winning the Blue Diamond Stakes (G1) over 1200 metres at Caulfield on his fourth racecourse appearance. He had won his first three races, and came through his stakes test with flying colours. Sepoy showed blistering speed to beat Hallowell Belle by over four lengths. His connections were brought back down to earth somewhat as he suffered his first defeat next time out, but Sepoy bounced right back when it mattered most, to win the famous Golden Slipper Stakes (G1) at Rosehill in April 2011. Again tackling 1200 metres, Sepoy was always up in the firing line in this important juvenile race, he showed a great turn of foot with 250 metres to go and won comfortably by 2 lengths from Mosheen. Five new straight wins were to follow, including top level success in the Manikato Stakes (G1) at Moonee Valley and Coolmore Stud Stakes (G1) over 1200 metres during last year's Melbourne Cup feast at Flemington. Early speed and a strong late kick was again his way of getting the glory, albeit by just a head from Foxwedge this time. Foxwedge had won a Group 2 on his previous start and he was subsequently fourth to the fantastic sprinter Black Caviar in a Group 1. Australian racing fans have long been hoping for a clash between Black Caviar and Sepoy and, if it happens, Royal Ascot in England could be the venue for such a dream race. For now though, Sepoy's main focus is on the biggest sprint in Dubai.

Trainer Peter Snowden gave Sepoy a break after his win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, in preparation for trip to Meydan. The wraps came off for the Oakleigh Plate Handicap (G1) over 1100 metres at Caulfield in February. By far the best horse going into the race, Sepoy was facing a tough task under top weight, and had to settle for fifth place, beaten length by the winner, Woorim, who was carrying 3kg less than him.

Sepoy was not as sharp as we know he can be last month but that was only a starting point to the new season, and he is obviously is in with a good chance of winning the Golden Shaheen. If there is a young sprinter around capable of denying the likes of Rocket Man and The Factor, it is probably him.

Globeform 122

Published: 2012-03-21 09:47:16

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