Trainer Robert Smerdon believes that Shamal Wind is in career best form ahead of the 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes, but believes that the talented mare will need a bit of luck to record her maiden win at Group 1 level.
Shamal Wind started her autumn preparation with a surprise win in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 1 and was far from disgraced when seventh behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at the same venue on February 22 before returning to the races with a comfortable win in the Braybrook Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on April 5.
Smerdon told Racing Victoria that he could not be happier with the condition of Shamal Wind this preparation, but believes that she will need everything to go her way to score a win over a tough 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes field this weekend.
“Shamal Wind is going really well I think she’s going as good as she’s ever gone,” Smerdon said.
“She’s drawn to get a good run but on the Oakleigh Plate form we can’t beat Gregers.
“She just needs the right run because she does get back and things need to break for those types of horses at the right time of the race.
“If she gets the right run she can hopefully figure in the finish.”
Smerdon was a chance of having two runners in the 2014 Robert Sangster Stakes field, with Politeness included in the acceptances for both the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) and the feature race at Morphettville this weekend, but the Street Sense filly has been withdrawn from both events after being found with mucus in her throat.
The veteran trainer revealed that the talented filly was still a chance of contesting the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m), but he ruled out a tilt at the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“She coughed a couple of times after her work this morning, the vet scoped her and she had mucus in her airway so she’s got to have antibiotic treatment and she won’t run on the weekend,” Smerdon said.
“She won’t go to Brisbane but there’s still the Euclase Stakes in Adelaide on Saturday week which, if she responded quickly to treatment, could still be an option.”
Smerdon is chasing his first win in the Robert Sangster Stakes after previously missing the placings with Shamal Wind (2013), Lone Rock (2012), Lucky Diva (2007) and Belle Ball (2003).