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28 February 2013

Sepoy at Stud. And a life in pictures.

I didn't ever get around to putting these images up on the Blog, but here is a little look at the champion racehorse Sepoy, who is about to embark on his first Northern Hemisphere stud season in England.  We photographed him for Darley late in September when he was half way through his first Southern Hemisphere season at Darley's picturesque Kelvinside Stud at Aberdeen, NSW.  The results of our Sepoy stallion photoshoot, which came around all of a sudden.  There's some interesting connections to my photographic library of this little chestnut colt, so I've included the pictorial history.

Interestingly, the first time I photographed Sepoy was as a weanling at their Northwood Park Stud just outside of Seymour in March 2009.  I of course had no idea I had done so, until he won the Blue Diamond Stakes in 2010.  Something made me calculate when he would have been a weanling, then in a fit of excitement, I went rushing back through all the images to see whether I'd done a little chestnut colt by Watchful.  Imagine my excitement when I discovered this:

Sepoy as a weanling at Darley's Northwood Park, Seymour. 24 March 2009. 
But even before this, I'd already photographed Sepoy's sire, the great American champion stallion, Elusive Quality, at the 2008 Kelvinside Stud Stallion Parade at Aberdeen, NSW, in August 2008.

This is Sepoy's sire, the American stallion Elusive Quality.   He's also the sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero Smarty Jones.  I have a Breyer model Smarty Jones on my wall unit at home.  My Bad Ass kitty, Maxie, does his best to knock all the model horses over during his daily (or several times per day) 'mad kitteh' modes...

The Autumn Carnival of 2011 was when I photographed Sepoy the racehorse for the first time, during his 2yo rampage.  The brilliant Darley home bred won the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Slipper Stakes.

Sepoy canters home in the 2011 Blue Diamond Stakes.  26 February 2011.

Sepoy winning the 2011 Golden Slipper Stakes.   4 April 2011. 

I then did a photoshoot at Emirates Park, who became a new client, on 19 September 2011.  Again, this was during another important little phase for me.  At Emirates, after having been sold off by Darley before Sepoy began his racing career, I photographed an important bay mare called Watchful (Danehill - Canny Miss), who is Sepoy's dam.  She's photographed her with her foal by Domesday.  Watchful's 2nd foal is doing well under the expert guidance of a Mr Peter Moody.  His name is Mulaazem.  

Sepoy returned as a 3 year old in the Spring of 2011.  I was mid separation by this point, and trying to juggle, as always, kids and work, and photographed Sepoy winning the Caulfield Sprint on Caulfield Cup Day where we stood at the 200m mark and got him really flying, then the Coolmore Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.  Again, I went up to the 200m mark.  My heart was in my mouth as Foxwedge made a race of it, and although Sepoy was tired having been 'up' for a fair while, he still managed to hang on for a win.

Sepoy wins the Coolmore Stakes on 29 October 2011

Sepoy then resumed in the Autumn on Blue Diamond Stakes Day on 25 February 2012.  It was a disgustingly hot day at almost 40 degrees.  He was burdened with a huge weight and ran 5th.  He then travelled to Dubai, but we suspect the track surface didn't suit him, and then went to England, but encountered a very heavy track when he was unplaced in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket.  

He returned to Australia to stand at Darley's Kelvinside Stud for $66,000.  And in September we got the call to come up and photograph him.   

Sepoy on 29 September 2012

Photo by Darren Tindale
Photo by Darren Tindale

Photo by Darren Tindale

Walking back with new season sire Benfica.

Of rainy days

I looked at the weather forecast late last night, after not having looked for a couple of days.  My mare Freelance doesn't like getting wet.  It makes her very cold, and she shivers, so when it started raining last night, I glanced at the BOM's forecast for Canberra for Thursday.  It had changed, and was suddenly saying 50-100mm of rain, with a southerly change as well.  Making me instantly think that her mesh rug would render her freezing cold and sodden, and miserable.  So with my first night last night in a month without my kids, I got up and ducked down the paddock straight away this morning, and she's now rugged up for the day ahead.  We've had a couple of times where we've had this much rain in one day (if it happens), one was just before Caulfield Cup Day in 2010, where the rivers flooded and the roadsides were awash with strong little rivers of their own (and these heavy rains continued right through December), and then we had huge rains in March 2012.

The next photoshoot for me is this Saturday, when I fly back in to Melbourne on the early flight.  I will be photographing at Flemington, with the Famous Pony Black Caviar's little brother ,All Too Hard, starting as hot favourite to win the Australian Guineas.