Sepoy in Champions League

Sepoy was in a league of his own in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes on Saturday and he immediately firmed into a $3.20 favourite for the G1 Golden Slipper on April 2.  It was a race of firsts for the Darley colt.

The four-and-a-quarter length margin was the largest since Courtza scored by four lengths in 1989.

Sepoy (2c Elusive Quality – Watchful by Danehill) headed to the barriers as a $1.40 favourite which was shortest price for a Blue Diamond winner since Rancher started at the same quote in 1982.  

His winning time of 68.55s was second fastest time ever recorded after Hurricane Sky clocked 68.10s in 1994.  He also became the first horse since Bel Esprit in 2002 to make a clean sweep of all three legs of the Blue Diamond series.  

“Sepoy’s not a big colt, but he is very strong and has a great attitude,” trainer Peter Snowden said.  “He hasn’t stopped improving with every run.  We were confident going into the Blue Diamond without being over-confident but I never expected him to win that easily.  He’s amazing.”

Unbeaten in four starts at stakes level, the impressive looking chestnut sat outside Anevay (Exceed And Excel) and then accelerated for a memorable victory.

Currently the highest rated juvenile in the southern hemisphere, Sepoy is now likely to have a short break before being aimed at the G1 Golden Slipper in six weeks time.  No horse has completed the Blue Diamond – Golden Slipper double since Courtza 22 years ago.

Sepoy is a Darley homebred and is by Kentucky based sire Elusive Quality who has been represented by 64 stakes winners globally.  Among his best gallopers have been Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones and Breeders’ Cup winner Raven’s Pass.  The latter stands at Darley’s Kildangan property in Ireland.

But before the Blue Diamond, his only G1 winner in Australia had been Woodlands filly Camarilla in the 2007 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes.  Her dam Camarena was a G1 winner of the Queensland Derby and is a sister to Sepoy’s dam Watchful.

There’s every chance Darley colt Bullbars can add another Group 1 for Elusive Quality in the Australian Guineas at Flemington this coming Saturday.

Darley’s managing director Henry Plumptre signalled a international career awaited Sepoy in 2012.  “If he were to win the Caulfield Guineas in the spring, he might be given a chance on the world stage.  We certainly consider him an exciting shuttle prospect.”