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Gust Of Wind to carry extra weight in Melbourne Cup

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Trainer John Sargent expects 2015 Australian Oaks winner Gust Of Wind to be in foal when she races in the Group 1 $6m Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

Gust Of Wind, above, could run in the Melbourne Cup carrying a foal to Criterion. Photo by Steve Hart.

Gust Of Wind, above, could run in the Melbourne Cup carrying a foal to Criterion. Photo by Steve Hart.

Gust Of Wind will be back in Sargent’s Randwick stables at the end of the month to begin her Spring Carnival preparation but will have a brief encounter with first year stallion Criterion during the early part of the Spring.

Sargent said that it won’t be the first time he has raced a mare in foal and added that most times it could improve their performance.

“She will be back in the stable at the end of this month after a good break,” Sargent told AAP.

“You just have to monitor them and make sure they are in the right cycles and then send them up to the stud.

“She will be up and back in a day.”

“We will get her ready for the Melbourne Cup, which will be her last race.”

“Gust Of Wind is one of several mares Sir Owen Glenn has bought to go to his horse Criterion, who is going to stud this year.

Criterion started preparing for his first season at stud after running eleventh to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on April 9.

The rising six year old stallion raced in top company right from his two year old season and finished just behind the placegetters when sixth to Overreach in the 2013 Group 1 $3.5m Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.

Criterion then went on to win the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill and the Group 1 $2m Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Twelve months late Criterion scored a dominant win the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in the Autumn followed by a win in the Group 1 $400,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield in the Spring.

Gust Of Wind is the winner of three races and was the last horse to beat Chris Waller’s super star Winx in the 2015 Group 1 $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

While Winx has gone on to win her next nine races, including the 2015 Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley, Gust Of Wind has been unplaced from eight starts.

Although she failed to figure in the major prizemoney during the 2015 Melbourne Spring, the Darci Brahma mare did perform creditably with a fourth to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 $3m Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield followed by a sixth to Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup.

In early 2016 Melbourne Cup markets at Ladbrokes.com.au Gust Of Wind is marked at $67 while the Aidan O’Brien trained Irish stayer Order Of St George heads the market order at $13.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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