Gust Of Wind to Take Benefit from 2016 Apollo Stakes

February 10th, 2016

Trainer John Sargent has been pleased with the benefit taken by Gust Of Wind in her time away from racing and is confident the mare will produce a competitive first-up performance in Saturday’s 2016 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick.

Gust Of Wind will return to racing in Saturday's 2016 Apollo Stakes at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart

Gust Of Wind will return to racing in Saturday’s 2016 Apollo Stakes at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart

Gust Of Wind experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence during last year’s edition of the Autumn Carnival, however it was her spring preparation which proved she is more than up to the class of some of the world’s best stayers; finishing fourth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) before ending her year an impressive sixth in the Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Confirming the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 2 of The Championships will figure as her major target this season, Sargent told Racenet the mare will take plenty of benefit from her run in the 2016 Apollo Stakes on Saturday.

“She weighs 515kg at the moment and races at around 485kg so she’s still a bit heavy but she’s exactly where I want her because I want her peaking on Sydney Cup day,” Sargent said.

“She’ll likely have four runs before the Sydney Cup.

“It’s two months until the race and is worth $2 million now so it’s the logical target for her.

“I think we can expect to see something from her once she gets up to a mile to 2000 metres but I’m very happy with her.”

Gust Of Wind beat only one runner home in her competitive debut in late 2013 and was returned to the paddock for more than a year; resuming last year for consecutive wins in a pair of minor races over 1400m and 1600m respectively.

Making a commendable transition to black type racing when fourth in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) on April 8th, the daughter of Darci Brahma produced an exceptional performance to beat a talented field home in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on the second day of The Championships only one week later.

The 2016 Apollo Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday today (Wednesday, 10 February).

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