Randwick based Kiwi trainer John Sargent will head back to Sydney with luckless Melbourne Cup runner Gust Of Wind and set the Oaks winning mare for the 2016 Group 1 $1.6m Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
As a three year old Gust Of Wind claimed her biggest victory when she won the Group 1 $1m Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick during this year’s Autumn Carnival.
But at five Spring Carnival starts as a four year old mare, Gust Of Wind has failed to find the winner’s stall again and Sargent is keen to try her over the 3200m again after having no luck when sixth to Prince Of Penzance in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington a week ago.
“What can you say when you go back to the tail in a slowly run race, get baulked for a run in the straight and watch her finish as good as anything,” Sargent told The Daily Telegraph.
“She did a great job to finish sixth and we’ll set her for the Sydney Cup. I think two miles is her distance and this race is in her backyard.”
“For a genuine two-mile horse it’s a great target to have with good prizemoney on offer.
“If she makes the same improvement as she did coming into this campaign then she will be hard to beat once she gets out over a trip.”
Sargent gave Gust Of Wind three early Spring Carnival runs over the unsuitable shorter distances before he placed her over a more suitable 2400m in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup at Caulfield on October 17.
The Darci Brahma mare raced in a fairly forward position just behind the pace and held on in the straight to finish a respectable fourth to Mongolian Khan as well as producing a top Melbourne Cup trial.
But things didn’t go smoothly in the Melbourne Cup when she was shuffled back to near the tail of the field from barrier nineteen and then was mixed up with the scrimmage half way down the straight before finishing the race off strongly to be only two and half lengths from the winner.