TWO years ago Peter Snowden launched the career of the brilliant colt Sepoy in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes, but he would not be drawn into the inevitable comparisons with yesterday's winner, Kuroshio, and the four-time group 1 winner.
''He's not quite Sepoy, that's for sure,'' Snowden said. ''It's a little bit early to predict too far ahead, but we're quietly confident that we've got some really nice horses coming through, and this bloke was always there early.''
While Sepoy was a little chestnut ball of muscle that ran straight and true at his debut, Kuroshio looked far less polished yesterday and forced jockey Glen Boss to earn the win when he began to wander from the 400 metres.
But rather than put Kuroshio under pressure when challenged by placegetter Excitable Boy, Boss preferred a more patient approach and focused on maintaining the young horse's rhythm, banking on its ability to prevail.
''In his trial, when something came at him he refused to let that thing get past him, which is exactly what he did here today,'' said Boss. ''Full credit to this horse because he was up on the speed, facing the breeze and did it pretty tough all the way.''
Sepoy was to the fore later in the day when his former rival Hallowell Belle landed a deserved victory in the group 2 Gilgai Stakes, to cap off a remarkable day for Gai Waterhouse.
Originally trained by Waterhouse in Sydney as an early two-year-old, Hallowell Belle spent six months with Peter Moody at Caulfield, during which time she finished second to Sepoy in the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Danehill Stakes. She returned to Waterhouse's care early this year, and raced with merit during the autumn carnival, before launching a spring campaign at Flemington yesterday.
With group 1 wins in the Epsom Handicap and The Metropolitan, at Randwick, Waterhouse was not to be outdone in Melbourne, with Hallowell Belle recording the biggest win of her career and set the scene for a big spring campaign.
''The world is her oyster, because she can go to 1400-metre mares races, or towards a group 1 sprint - with her she's got options,'' Waterhouse travelling foreman Dave Meijer said.