Australian Oaks winner Gust Of Wind will take up her usual position in the second half of the field in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Gust Of Wind drew barrier thirteen in the original draw but will jump from gate nine if the four emergencies fail to gain a start and trainer John Sargent is content with the midfield position and expects the Darci Brahma filly to settle in the second division.
“The best thing with her is the draw we’ve got,” Sargent told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“We’re out of thirteen, might be into nine – but she’ll be out.
“She’s such a big striding mare that I’d just like her to be midfield, she might be two-thirds of the way back.
“When they start making the runs down the far straight, I’d like to tag onto something and she can get in that way. That’ll suit her best rather than being on the inside.”
Sargent is not certain how Gust Of Wind will get around Caulfield but what she does she will improve on heading towards her main Spring Carnival goal of the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
“The big question mark is getting around the tighter Caulfield circuit,” Sargent said.
“She’s fit and well, and that’s the main thing. I’m very happy with her, and she’s had two runs at Flemington and she knows that track, and that’s where we’re headed after this.”
But Sargent is not giving up hope of winning the Caulfield Cup and said that if Gust Of Wind can get a trouble free run at the right time, she is not without a chance of knocking off the more fancied runners.
“She’d only be a realistic winning chance if she was midfield or a bit further back, and gets a trouble-free run at them down the outside with a few others all through the middle,” Sargent said.
“If she gets stopped and started, and they walk and pull-up, I don’t think she can be. But if it’s the other way around, she could be because I know 2400m she’ll eat up.”
“And after that, two miles she’ll be even better.”
Gust Of Wind showed her staying credentials when she outstayed her rivals with a two and a quarter lengths win over Queensland Oaks and Epsom winner Winx in the Group 1 $1m Seven News Australian Oaks over 2400m at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Sargent has given Gust Of Wind three lead up runs into the Caulfield Cup over unsuitable distances and kicked off her Spring Carnival campaign with a ninth over 1400m in the Group 2 $250,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes at Randwick on August 22.
Gust Of Wind then went to Flemington where she made up some ground from the back to finish eighth, one and three quarter lengths behind Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 12 and then stepped up again in distance to 2000m for an eleventh to Preferment in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes at Flemington again on October 4.
If Gust Of Wind is your Caulfield Cup pick, you can get over the odds by taking advantage of Ladbrokes Caulfield Cup Day Special Offer of Best Tote or SP + 20% on every race at Caulfield this Saturday up to a maximum bet of $50.
With only 51kg on her back, Sargent was able to secure the services of Hong Kong based lightweight jockey Chad Schofield who will return to Melbourne on Saturday to partner Gust Of Wind in the Caulfield Cup.
Gust Of Wind has been steady in the betting for the Caulfield Cup at $17 with Ladbrokes.com.au since the final field was released on Tuesday.
Caulfield Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Mongolian Khan, $9.50 Set Square, $10 Hauraki, Fame Game, Rising Romance, $11 Snow Sky, $13 Complacent, $15 Hokko Brave, $17 Gust Of Wind, Magic Hurricane, $21 Royal Descent, Volkstok’N’Barrell, $26 Our Ivanhowe, Trip To Paris, $31 Who Shot Thebarman, Lucia Valentina, $51 Grand Marshall, Protectionist, Dibayani, Magnapal, Quest For More, $126 Magicool.