Sepoy’s younger brother Mulaazem (Dubai Destination) made a mark of his own with his maiden stakes win in Saturday’s Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Mulaazem and Luke Nolan win the Autumn Stakes, picture quentinjlang.com
Sepoy (Elusive Quality) won four Group 1 races, including the Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper, in his short career but Mulaazem has taken longer than his brother to develop into a black type performer.
Mulaazem showed he had the ability to make it in stakes company when he bolted in by 10 lengths on heavy ground at Sandown as a two-year-old but immaturity caused a surprise defeat at his first outing as a three-year-old in August last year.
His trainer Peter Moody blamed himself for not having Mulaazem fit enough to win a Cranbourne Class 1 first-up on December 28 but the exciting colt has started 2013 with two dominant wins, culminating with his brilliant Autumn Stakes win.
Jockey Luke Nolen sent Mulaazem straight to the front but he had the tough Group 1 Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar (Hotel Grand) for company throughout the $220,000 feature. Fiveandahalfstar kept Mulaazem honest all the way down the straight but the winner proved too nippy for the resuming stayer in the closing stages.
Moody has high hopes Mulaazem can make it as a Group 1 horse but the top trainer admitted he was unsure at what distance the emerging three-year-old would suit his charge at the highest level.
“He’s a high-quality colt,” Moody said. “He’s a brother to a champion and he’s now a Group II winner with a hell of a pedigree so he’s got a big future ahead of him.
“He’s a very nice sort of six or seven furlong horse. Whether he can reach a mile, that’s questionable. His brother didn’t but we’re three weeks out from the (Australian) Guineas.
“Those horses can fit into that mould. A race like the Ryder over 1500 around Rosehill might suit him better than a mile around Flemington. You have got to pick your mark and have a look at it.”
Mulaazem, picture quentinjlang.com
Mulaazem defeated Fiveandahalfstar by a head while Super Cool (Fastnet Rock) finished another 1-3/4 lengths away in third. Mulaazem started as a $4 favourite on track but paid $4.20 on the Victorian TAB.
The three-year-olds ran the 1400-metre trip in 1:23.66 while Mulaazem ran his last 600 metres in 34.69 seconds.