Epaulette leads Darley one-two in Golden Rose
Report: Australia, Saturday
Rosehill: Golden Rose (Group 1) 7f, turf, 3yo
THE Australian branch of Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation recorded a notable triumph with a one-two in the Golden Rose, the first Group 1 race of the season in Australia.
As the bubble burst on the filly Nechita, Darley trainer Peter Snowden celebrated a one-two in the A$1 million (£650,000) event as Epaulette (Tommy Berry) and Albrecht fought out the finish, with the former the winner by a head.
Sent out 6-4 favourite, Nechita found the 1,400 metres a bridge too far, weakening to sixth.
It was the third win in the race for Snowden following Forensics (2008) and Denman (2009) but a first Group 1 for jockey Tommy Berry - on a ride that wasn't originally his.
Stable jockey Kerrin McEvoy opted to ride Albrecht and Brisbane's Damian Browne elected to stay home, leaving Snowden scratching for a rider.
Peter Snowden: third win the racePICTURE: Getty Images
"I'd already knocked back a couple of riders but Tommy was a good substitute and it's great to give him his first Group 1," said Snowden.
The result was a triumph for Sheikh Mohammed's Australian breeding programme with Commands colt Epaulette now on a path to emulate his three-quarter brother Helmet, last year's Caulfield Guineas winner.
"This is what it's about and it's fantastic for the stable," Snowden said. "That last furlong was amazing. I can't describe how good it is. Epaulette was set for this and I'm very proud of the other horse.
>>Nechita's rider Christian Reith was suspended for nine meetings for careless riding after being found guilty of causing interference to Jim Cassidy's mount Amorino at the first turn of the feature race. He can return on October 7.