Boom colt Sepoy stamped himself as one of the great two-year-olds of the modern era when he blitzed his rivals by over four lengths in the $1 million Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Peter Snowden-trained colt joined 1982 winner Rancher as the only odds-on favourite to claim Victoria’s premier two-year-old race with both horses saluting at the short odds of $1.40.
Sepoy, who is now unbeaten in four starts, also became the first horse since Bel Esprit in 2002 to make a clean sweep of the Blue Diamond series having won the Preview and Prelude en route to Saturday’s Group 1 triumph.
Snowden said that Sepoy, who is owned by Sheik Mohammed of Dubai, has continued to amaze the stable with his efforts on raceday.
“He’s surprising me. As I said in the interview this morning, he’s a good trackworker, but on raceday he pulls out more and more. He’s really surprised me how good he is,” the Sydney trainer said.
Winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who rode the juvenile for the first time, was in awe of Sepoy’s performance and declared the colt the best two-year-old he has ridden.
“He’s come here again and blown them away. Three for three this time in, he’s won all the lead-ups and now the main one, so it was a job well done by everyone,” he said.
“He’s a horse that gets there and you could almost go a stride quicker and he’d still blow them away. He’s got that great ability to sit right on the speed, do it easy and then have a really good turn of foot.”
McEvoy paid tribute to Mark Zahra who had ridden Sepoy in his first three starts before making way for the stable’s number one rider in the Blue Diamond.
“I want to thank Mark. Obviously it’s a tough position for him and we’re good friends, he’s done a top job on this horse and he’s a great asset to the team,” he said.
Sepoy is now set to be given the chance to become just the fifth Blue Diamond winner and first since Courtza in 1989 to win the $3.5m Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), which will be run at Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse on 2 April.
Second across the line in the Blue Diamond was the Peter Moody-trained filly Hallowell Belle ($13), who narrowly held off the Lee Freedman-trained Masthead ($51) and her stablemate Metonymy ($41).
Second favourite Atomic ($12), for whom the Freedman stable paid a $55,000 late entry fee, finished second last of the 14 runners leaving connections without any prize money to cover their outlay.