Kerrin McEvoy guides Epaulette home in the Doomben 10,000. Photo: Tertius PickardTrainer Peter Snowden is likely to let Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette shoulder the weight of history in the Stradbroke Handicap after the three-year-old was assigned 56 kilograms for the group 1 contest on June 8.
”He’s been set specifically for two races [the 10,000 and the Stradbroke] and barring injury I’d say he will be running,” said Snowden.
Buffering is topweight with 58. It leaves Epaulette carrying significantly more weight than older and more seasoned sprinters.
Epaulette must not only set a modern weight-carrying record for a three-year-old in the Stradbroke if he is to win, he must also buck a trend of failures by Doomben 10,000 winners seeking to claim the Brisbane sprint double.
Just one horse in the last 30 years, Campaign King, has won both races in the same year.
Snowden had feared an unsuitable handicap for Epaulette following Saturday’s dominant 10,000 victory, but said after looking at the likely field, he expected the colt to receive between 55 and 56.
”It’s what we expected after we had a look at the race and talked about it this morning. It will be a tough ask for him,” Snowden said.
Epaulette produced a remarkable final burst to claim Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 at weight-for-age, but will now meet a number of his rivals from that race on worse conditions in the Stradbroke, including fellow three-year-old and BTC Cup winner Your Song, who was assigned 54 after finishing sixth in Saturday’s race.
Snowden is taking consolation in the dominance of the victory and the fact that Epaulette had recovered so well following the race.
”He’s been to the beach and seems to have come through in great shape,” he said. ”They went hard in the 10,000 and if you look at his best performances, the Golden Rose, the TJ Smith, and Saturday’s race, the horse appreciates a strong speed. He’s going to get that again in the Stradbroke.”
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