Al Zarooni: “Sepoy is back”
Sunday 8 July 2012
By Geoffrey Riddle
Sepoy is back to the sort of form that saw him accumulate ten victories from 12 runs in Australia, according to his trainer, Mahmood Al Zarooni.
The Australian import flopped badly in the Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan in March and has not seen a racecourse since.
Bred by Darley, the four-year-old is a general 14-1 shot for the July Cup on Saturday, which is sponsored by Sheikh Mohammed’s breeding operation.
“He’s a good horse and he’s back now,” Mahmood Al Zarooni revealed to Racinguk.com. “When he arrived here [in Newmarket] he was a bit down. We gave him an easy time to recover. He has recovered and is in good form.
“He did a piece of work on Saturday and he’s showing that sort of form [as he did in Australia].”
The colt was rated by the World Thoroughbred Rankings as the best three-year-old sprinter in the world last year. He was rated at 123, which is 2lbs below that of Oasis Dream, the 2003 July Cup winner.
Al Zarooni highlighted that he never intended to give Sepoy a prep run before the six furlong sprint, and that the colt had been aimed at the Newmarket ever since trailing in 14 and a half lengths behind Krypton Factor in Dubai.
“I don’t know why he ran like he did at Meydan,” Al Zarooni continued. “The surface, or sometimes when they travel they get really down. It is long way to Dubai from Australia. That’s why I think he ran like he did.
“It was always the plan to run him in the July Cup. I am doing what I am told. His Highness [Sheikh Mohammed] told me he wanted to run in the race, so I’ve aimed him at it.”
Peter Snowden, who trained Sepoy in Australia, has gone on record to say that the Elusive Quality colt thrived with racing under his care. Last season Sepoy ran five times in a two and half months, culminating in his fifth place in the Oakleigh Plate over five and a half furlongs when trying to break the weight-carrying record for his age group in the Group One sprint.
The colt is to retire immediately after the July Cup and will stand at Darley’s Kelvinside base in Australia and like So You Think, is being advertised for $Aus 66,000.
"Sepoy is simply extraordinary,” Oliver Tait, Darley's chief operating officer, said in May.
“There hasn't been a racehorse with these credentials retire to stud in Australia since Vain.
“His performances in the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond were breathtaking and to come back in the spring as a three-year-old to win five from five, including a victory over More Joyous is truly unique. He really is one of a kind."