Anyone who read our recent piece on Darley’s pre-training centre
Osborne Park ‘What Makes Champions’ would be well aware of the high
hopes held by Peter Snowden for Helmet’s three-quarter brother
Epaulette, who trialed impressively at Rosehill on Tuesday morning.

The Commands colt downed another promising three year-old in the Gai
Waterhouse trained Raceway to win the 900 meter trial by half a neck in
54.4 seconds with more than three lengths back to the third horse.

Epaulette is slated to return in the Group III ATC
Run to the Rose on September 1 before progressing to Group I targets
such as the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas, the latter race won by
his sibling Helmet last year.

Running exactly the same time as Epaulette was blue-blooded Fastnet Rock colt Crusade, who cleared out to win his heat by three and three-quarter lengths. Prepared by John Hawkes and his sons, Crusade has been given plenty of time and was having only his second hit out.

The unraced colt finished second to stakes-placed Shelford at the
last set of trials on August 13 at Randwick and has obviously made
further progress since then, so a race day appearance can’t be far off.

A full brother to Group I VRC Newmarket Handicap winner Wanted, Crusade
(pictured below) was a $650,000 purchase for Demi O’Byrne/James Bester
Bloodstock from the Highgrove Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Australian
Easter Yearling Sale.

He was the dearest yearling sold at that sale by Fastnet Rock, the
second most expensive being recent stakes-winner She’s a Fox, who sold
for $600,000.

Raced by a syndicate that includes Coolmore as well as prominent owners Robert McLure (Yosei) and Keith Biggs (Sea Siren), Crusade is the fourth foal from stakes-winning Snippets mare Fragmentation, who is also the dam of Group III winner Shrapnel.

Judging by what we have seen to date, Crusade is also blessed with the trademark speed of the family.

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