Kerrin McEvoy: recommended keeping visor on EpaulettePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Spell at boot camp does the trick for Epaulette
Report: Australia, Saturday
Doomben: Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (Group 1) 7f, turf, 2yo+
A stint of boot camp proved the catalyst for Epaulette's win in a Doomben 10,000 marred by tragedy on Saturday.
Epaulette ($6) stormed home to win by two lengths from last year's winner Sea Siren ($17) with Buffering ($7) a brave third, a short half-head away.
But as jockey Kerrin McEvoy was bringing Epaulette back to scale at Doomben, the Chris Waller stable was coming to terms with injuries suffered by popular galloper Rangirangdoo.
Rangirangdoo fractured both sesamoids on the home turn and the dual Group One winner was euthanased.
"Tragic end for him today and will be missed by all," Waller said on Twitter.
"He won 2 Grp 1's, always raced against the best and came back from a serious injury. Thoughts are with all of his connections today."
Winning trainer Peter Snowden revealed Epaulette had spent some time at Darley Australia's Osborne Park after his sixth placing in the All Aged Stakes.
"We call it boot camp out there where he did a bit of jumping which was something new for him," Snowden said.
"He had a bit of down time after the All Aged and it worked wonders for him."
Snowden intends to keep Epaulette fresh for his next Group One goal, the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
Epaulette's win was the fifth for trainer Peter Snowden in Group One races this season and the colt's second after his victory in last year's Golden Rose.
Snowden said the hectic pace set by Buffering in the early stages was instrumental in Epaulette's win.
"It was a ridiculous speed really and coming to the corner I was quietly confident he would pick up the leaders," Snowden said.
"They set it up for the backmarkers and he was Johnny on the spot."
Snowden was happy to give credit to McEvoy who recommended Epaulette race in a visor.
"I was going to keep the winkers on him but Kerrin was firm in his belief that the visor would be a better option and he pulled the right rein," he said.
Trainer Robert Heathcote was full of praise for the effort of Buffering to hold on for third after setting a fast tempo from the barriers.
"He ran his heart out as he usually does and ran right up to my expectations," Heathcote said.
Your Song was heavily backed from $4 into $3.30 favouritism but after working hard to sit outside Buffering, weakened in the straight to finish sixth.
"It was quite simple really, he just had to do too much work from the outside alley," jockey Hugh Bowman said.