“An awesome filly and I am really excited by her.”
Read what trainers have to say about some of Sepoy's leading performers ahead of an exciting Classic season
Dabyah: “A lovely filly who is pleasing me in her work at home.”
As Britain’s leading first-season sire by number of individual winners, there was much to celebrate with Sepoy’s first European runners last year.
The multiple G1-winning son of Elusive Quality rounded off the year with 20 individual winners of 24 races for a winners-to-runners strike rate of almost 40%, placing him ahead of such as Frankel, Mayson and Bated Breath, as well as his Darley studmate and G1 sire Helmet.
But it is not just quantity abounding; Sepoy can also boast some serious quality among that first haul of winners who are now being aimed at glittering prizes in 2017.
Dabyah took the eye when winning her maiden at Newmarket on July Cup day and followed up in September with a nine-length annihilation of her rivals in a Newbury conditions over seven furlongs. Those results earned her a tilt at the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac in which she finished a close third to Wuheida (Dubawi).
“Dabyah is a lovely filly who is pleasing me in her work. She is heading for the Fred Darling and then we will decide whether to go for the French or English Guineas,” says trainer John Gosden.
Kilmah, pictured winning the G3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood
Kilmah became Sepoy’s first Group winner when landing the G3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood in August for Mark Johnston, having already been runner-up in the G3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot a month earlier. Johnston is also responsible for Baileys Showgirl who gave her sire his first black type victory when landing the Listed Prix Roland de Chambure at Chantilly in July, defeating subsequent Stakes winner Red Onion (Fast Company) by two lengths in the seven-furlong contest.
“Both fillies have done well over the winter and will be aimed at the Classic trials. I am very pleased with them both,” Johnston reports.
Unforgetable Filly, G3-placed at two and aiming for Classic trials at three
Another talented performer aiming at the Classic trials in April is Unforgetable Filly, trained by Hugo Palmer. Having broken her maiden by a staggering seven lengths at Lingfield in early September, Unforgetable Filly went on to finish a good third in the G3 Oh So Sharp behind Poet’s Vanity (Poet’s Voice). That run promises much more to come this season, according to her trainer.
“Unforgetable Filly has really strengthened up. We were delighted with her third in the G3 Oh So Sharp and hopeful she can build on that,” Palmer says. “She is likely to start her campaign in the Nell Gwyn or the Fred Darling, wherever the ground is not soft.”
Indian Blessing: "An awesome filly!"
Another trainer who is eagerly awaiting the early part of the season is Ed Walker, who trains Indian Blessing. That filly debuted late in the season and triumphed at Newcastle over seven furlongs.
“She is an awesome filly and I am really excited by her. All options are open for her at the moment and I am looking forward to running in early April,” Walker says.
Hilario defeats Dubai One by a short head
Other talented performers who have got their trainers buzzing include Hilario, who led home a 1-2 for his sire when winning his maiden over seven furlongs at Kempton at the beginning of September, defeating Godolphin’s Dubai One (Exceed And Excel) by a short head. His trainer Charlie Hills says: “I expect him to be a Stakes horses this year, especially as he comes from a family that gets better with age.”
Trooper’s Gold is another maiden winner from whom more is expected this season. The colt was placed four times before breaking his maiden by three and a quarter lengths at Newcastle. Trainer Kevin Ryan comments: “Whatever he did at two was always going to be a bonus and we expect him to be a very nice three-year-old.”