Whirlwind filly eyes Cup
IT’S been 50 years since a filly won the ATC Oaks– Melbourne Cup double in the same year but John Sargent says Gust Of Wind is showing all the signs that she’ll measure up this spring.
Light Fingers will be remembered for giving the maestro Bart Cummings his first Melbourne Cup. No one knew in 1965 that Cummings would go on to train another 11 Cups heroes nor did they know that not one Australian Oaks winner would bag the Melbourne Cup six months later for the next 50 years.
Gust Of Wind got tongues wagging when she debuted for Sargent with one of the most amazing wins this season.
The filly wasn’t sighted on the TV screen at the 200m of a Scone maiden but somehow managed to win the 1400m event on February 23.
Fast forward to day two of The Championships and the daughter of Darci Brahma made Winx take a back seat when bagging the Group ATC Oaks.
“Hasn’t that form held up pretty well,” Sargent said.
“All I can say is not many horses I’ve had have come back from a spell looking as good as her.
“We’re very confident we’ve got a better Gust Of Wind than the one we sent to the spelling paddock in April.”
But she needs to be because traditionally fillies haven’t measured up when they “take on the cream of Australian racing” as four year olds during the spring.
“A lot of the fillies that win an Oaks do so because they’re simply better horses but not because they’re better stayers,” he said.
“That’s not the case with her. She’s a natural stayer and when those types really strengthen up like she has over the break, they tend to go to a new level.”
Sargent will kick Gust Of Wind off in “a race like the Warwick Stakes” where he’ll use the 1400m Group 2 weight- for- age event to assess how close Gust Of Wind is to “the good horses”. “I want to try and run her in big tracks so a race like the Bart Cummings in October might be preferable to the Caulfield Cup but her main aim is the Melbourne Cup,” he said.
Tye England on Gust of Wind.