Gust Of Wind has impressed onlookers with her track work ahead of the start of her 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but trainer John Sargent is not expecting a great deal from the Australian Oaks winner in the 2015 Warwick Stakes at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Gust Of Wind was sent to the spelling paddock after she upset Winx to win the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 11 and there has been plenty of buzz surrounding the staying mare, but Sargent told Racing Ahead that the daughter of Darci Brahma is still well short of her peak fitness and he is simply hoping that she hits the line strongly in the Warwick Stakes tomorrow.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Sargent said.
“She is big and burly and she looks like a five-year-old not a four-year-old.
“She has a great coat already and I am very excited about her prospects for the spring.
“She needs a 1400 to kick-off in and I think that it suits because we know that she will get back and anything shorter she will get run off her feet.
“If she is hitting the line and beating a few home I will be very happy.
“I have no pressure with her because she is qualified with winning the Oaks and all I have to do is have her at her peak on the first Tuesday of November.”
The Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) is the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival target for Gust Of Wind, but Sargent is yet to decide what path the four-year-old will follow in the lead-up to ‘the race that stops a nation’.
The Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 5, Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 19, Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day are all possible options for Gust Of Wind, but Sargent revealed that she is unlikely to contest the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
“At this stage she is just where I want her and we are waiting to get to the final in November,” Sargent said.
“She is quite a big burly horse, so I would probably only have five I would say.
“She will have this run and maybe the Chelmsford or the George Main or she might go down there for the Turnbull or The Bart Cummings.
“I don’t know if she will go to Caulfield because I don’t know if the track will suit her.
“I would say she would have her fifth run or her sixth run going into the Cup.”
Gust Of Wind is currently available at 2015 Warwick Stakes odds of $41 with Ladbrokes, while First Seal ($2.90) is still a clear favourite from Kermadec ($6.50), Royal Descent ($7), It’s Somewhat ($7.50) and Burbero ($8.50).