Two beautifully bred colts from one racing empire, a stirring battle in Sydney's richest spring race and a maiden Group One victory for Tommy Berry.
The 2012 Golden Rose was a wonderful result for Darley with Epaulette and Albrecht running the quinella in the $1 million feature. It was the racing and breeding operation's first Group One victory since Sepoy saluted in the Coolmore Stakes last October.
Despite partnering Epaulette in his previous five starts, Darley stable jockey, Kerrin McEvoy, elected to ride Albrecht. Peter Snowden originally planned to secure the services of Queensland hoop, Damien Brown, for Epaulette but he decided to stay home, leaving the door open for Tommy Berry to pick up the ride.
A solid tempo up front saw both colts drop back to the tail of the ten horse field, while dominant pre-race favourite, Nechita, settled in the first half.
The lone filly in the field briefly hit the lead in the straight, but the Darley duo took over the running from the 200m mark, racing away from the rest of the pack; leaving their closest rival, Ashokan, two-and-a-half lengths away.
Albrecht momentarily hit the lead but Epaulette, under hands and heels from Berry, fought back gallantly to defeat his stable mate by a bob of the head.
Snowden and Darley have enjoyed considerable success in the Golden Rose claiming it with Forensics in 2008, and again in 2009 with Denman, when the feature was elevated to Group One status.
Epaulette, three-quarter brother to Helmet, will now try and emulate his deeds by winning the Caulfield Guineas.
Albrecht will most likely head to the Stan Fox Stakes.
G2 - The Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle Race (class 1)
G2 - The Stanjames.com Champion Hurdle Trial (class 1)
G2 - The Peter Marsh Steeple Chase (a Limited Handicap)
G2 - The Altcar Novices' Steeple Chase (class 1)
G2 - The Olbg.com Mares' Hurdle Race (class 1)