Epic Dragon survived a protest and promoted his Caulfield Guineas credentials following an impressive win in the Spotless Handicap (1500m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday. The John Sadler trained colt held off Muchos Respectos (Pins) by a short-neck but connections had some nervous moments before stewards dismissed an objection.
Epic Dragon (3c Al Maher – Top Tips by Canny Lad) opened his black-type account in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes at Flemington in April but disappointed first-up in the G3 McKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley last month.
“I was worried about the step up from 1200m to 1500m but John has a lot of faith in the horse and trained him to the minute,” Newmarc Syndicate manager Troy Corstens admitted. “There’s still improvement in him.”
Epic Dragon will have his next run in the G2 Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 24 before going on to the G1 Caulfield Guineas. The Victoria Derby is also on the radar for the lightly raced colt.
Epic Dragon was purchased from Emirates Park for $25,000 at the 2009 Perth Magic Millions yearling sale. He has now earned $105,850 from two wins in four starts. He is one of four stakes winners by Emirates Park stallion Al Maher and his dam Top Tips has already produced winners by Secret Savings and Danewin.
Top Tips is a half sister to versatile galloper Palace Symphony (Palace Music). He was G1 placed in the 1992 Caulfield Guineas behind Palace Reign before going on to a land feature wins over the tall timber in the VRC Grand National Steeplechase, MVRC Hiskens Steeplechase, Oakbank Von Doussa Steeplechase and VRC Crisp Steeplechase.