Epaulette's Military Zone Toughs It Out In Hawkesbury Guineas
Mark Smith - Saturday April 27

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Military Zone looked something special when he claimed the Listed Gosford Guineas back in December but following a 14-week break he blotted his copybook when beaten out of a place as an odds-on favourite last start.

The son of Epaulette was back in the good books when he toughed out a win in Saturday's Group III Hawkesbury Guineas.

The third leg of a 4-timer for James McDonald, Military Zone defeated Trope (More Than Ready) by a head with Quackerjack (Not A Single Doubt) two lengths back in third. (images Steve Hart)

It advanced the record of Military Zone to 4 wins from 8 starts with earnings of $320,130.

"He had a gun run. It was the difference between winning and losing," Peter Snowden said.

"To his credit our horse dug deep. He is a Brisbane type of horse and this is a good stepping stone. I thought if he was competitive here it would be a good pointer to Brisbane.

"He used to over-race but he is a lot more relaxed now and there are plenty of races for him."

Purchased by Paul Willets for $140,000 at the Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale, Military Zone made the same amount when Triple Crown Syndications sourced him out of the Three Bridges draft at the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

Bred by Two Bays Farm, Military Zone is a three-quarter brother to Happy Forever, a stakes-winner in Macau.

He is the second foal of the Street Sense (USA) mare Loading Zone who is a half-sister to the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet winner Super Lacuna (Grand lodge) and to Randwick winner Double Ranga the dam of Group II Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Scarlett Rain (Manhattan Rain).

Purchased for just $8,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, Loading Zone has a yearling colt by Kermadec, which was purchased by Triple Crown for $280,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale and a weanling filly by Manhattan Rain. She was covered by Russian Revolution last spring.

Military Zone is one of five stakes-winners from the first crop of Epaulette.

After covering 95 mares at a fee of $22,000 in 2017, Epaulette (Commands) earned an increase to $27,500 at Darley Stud last spring where he covered 88 mares.