Gust Of Wind will make her Melbourne racing debut in the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday, but trainer John Sargent believes that the mile of the Group 1 event is too short for the talented mare.
Gust Of Wind was sent to the spelling paddock after she recorded an impressive victory in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 11 and she returned to racing with a more than credible ninth place finish in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22.
Sargent believes that Gust Of Wind has trained on well coming out of the Warwick Stakes and he expects to see the Darci Brahma mare hit the line strongly in the final stages of the Makybe Diva Stakes, but he does not think that the four-year-old is a genuine winning chance in the Group 1 event.
“I am very happy,” Sargent told Racing Ahead.
“It was obviously too short, but Josh Parr was very happy with her on the line and Blake Shinn galloped her during the week and thought that she has gone up a level in fitness.
“I expect her to be getting home strongly, but a mile is probably too short for her again on Saturday.
“I hope that she is getting home strong on the line and if she was in the first eight I would be very happy.”
Gust Of Wind will return to Victorian racing for the first time since she failed to fire in the Chatswood Stud Maiden Plate (1009m) at Seymour in December of 2013, but she is set to race exclusively in Melbourne for the rest of her spring campaign.
Sargent believes that Flemington will suit the Australian Oaks winner in the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes and he is keen to give the mare a look at the track before she presses on to races like the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 4 and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 3.
“She will come home on Sunday night, but she will probably go back down and stay there after that for Turnbull Stakes Day,” Sargent said.
“It will be good to get her down there and show her the great big open sights of Flemington.”
Gust Of Wind is currently available at 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes odds of $41 with Ladbrokes, while Boban ($4.50) is a clear favourite from Fawkner ($7.50), Alpine Eagle ($7.50) and Weary ($8.50).