Golden Rose winner Epaulette showed the Melbourne direction would not cause him any problems this spring when producing a long-neck win in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
Epaulette will now attempt to mirror the feat of half-brother Helmet in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 13 who completed the double last year.
Darley number one jockey Kerrin McEvoy returned to the saddle after riding stablemate in Albrecht in the Golden Rose and he took a sit just off the lead with the son of Commands.
Mick Price-trained colt Let Go Lenni held the lead around the home turn before being headed early in the straight by Epaulette who managed to hang on to win despite a strong effort from runner-up Let Go Lenni and an eye-catching third from Awesome Bro.
In a warning to his future spring rivals, trainer Peter Snowden said the talented colt still had plenty of improvement to come.
“He’s learning all the time. He’s still got that habit whenever there is something that whenever there is something in front of him he’ll chase,” Snowden said.
“He gets a head in front that’s his job done. He just idles down a bit.
“He probably needs to be at his best the next time we’re here but he will be. I’m very happy with the way he’s going.”
Epaulette is likely to start as second favourite to Pierro and McEvoy is excited about the challenge of taking on the unbeaten star.
“He’s the benchmark and he’s a fairly tall benchmark,” McEvoy said.
“But it’s a Group 1 for three-year-olds so we’ve got to go there even though Pierro’s there.
“With a horse like him he can raise the bar and with a big bar in front of him like Pierro you never know what can happen.”