Written by Paul Vettise
Tony Gollan will err on the side of caution and has ruled out a trip to New Zealand with his gifted filly Epaumada (Epaulette).
The leading Queensland trainer had given consideration to a crack at next Saturday’s Karaka Million at Ellerslie, but has decided against the venture.
That will have connections of 2-year-olds who are border-line to make the field breathing a touch easier as Epaumada was guaranteed a start after banking $42,700 from her dashing victory at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Gollan said it would be detrimental to the youngster’s future to undertake such a venture to Auckland at this stage of her development.
“Much as I would love to have a runner in the race, we’ve made the decision not to take her over.” – Tony Gollan
“Much as I would love to have a runner in the race, we’ve made the decision not to take her over.
“The timing isn’t right and it would be too much for the filly. We’ve got to look after her and not run the risk of ruining her career however far that might be.”
A half-sister to the Listed Lightning S. winner Bandipur (Commands), Epaumada was purchased out of the Karaka draft of Monovale Farm for NZ$165,000 a year ago and is a daughter of the winning Viscount mare Pattamada.
Group 1 pedigree
She is a sister to the G1 Queen of the Turf S. winner Neroli and the dam of the G1 Auckland Cup winner Magic Chai (Magic Albert). Also in the family ranks is the G1 TJ Smith S. winner Benfica (Lonhro).
Monovale Farm will be offering Epaumada’s half-sister (Lot 285) by Proisir during the Book 1 session at Karaka on January 28.
Epaumada has now won both of her starts, having led all the way to win on debut at Gatton and at Eagle Farm she sat in second spot to the turn and when shaken up by rider Brad Stewart glided clear in the straight.
“We’ll give her a little break now and then set her for the winter carnival here.” – Tony Gollan.
“We’ll give her a little break now and then set her for the winter carnival here,” Gollan said. “She’s going to improve a lot, she’s a November foal.”
Watch: Epaumada as a yearling
Epaumada won the opening event and the stable book-ended the meeting with the progressive Brains (Stryker) winning the closing Benchmark 80 event.
The 4-year-old powered down the outside of the track to complete a hat-trick of wins and remain unbeaten in his summer preparation.
“He was there to be beaten after he got blocked in and won really well.” – Tony Gollan.
“He was there to be beaten after he got blocked in and won really well. He’s improved out of sight,” Gollan said.
“We’ll keep putting him through his grades and he’ll be better over a mile. There’s another race for him in three weeks’ time.
He is a son of Absolute Harmony (Redoute’s Choice), who is a half-sister to the dual Group 2 winner Éclair Choice (California Dane) with the second dam the G1 Golden Slipper S. winner Burst (Marauding).
Plenty more to come
Brains has now won six of his 17 starts and his trainer is expecting the gelding to make his mark in stronger company in time.
“He’s got a really good future and he’s nowhere near his ceiling yet,” Gollan said.
“He has made a great leap from a 3-year-old and he’s a tough and versatile horse.
“He’s big and strong, very tractable and an easy horse to train. I really like him, there’s a lot of upside and we might look at something early in the winter carnival for him.”