Caulfield’s Robert Smerdon is hoping the imposing first-up record of his resuming mare Shamal Wind will be the key to her success at Moonee Valley in Saturday’s 2014 Carlyon Stakes.
The daughter of Dubawi is gearing up for her five-year-old debut on the weekend and gets an early gallop at the track today to help bring her on.
Shamal Wind will be tested over 955m in a hit-out at Moonee Valley with Craig Williams aboard today to give her a look at the circuit before Saturday’s $120,000 Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m).
“She’s going there in the morning for a gallop,” Smerdon told AAP on Monday afternoon.
She is one of 16 older horses nominated for the set weights plus penalties clash that kicks off the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaigns of some talented sprinters.
Williams is yet to ride Smerdon’s mare but will be aboard under race conditions for the first time on Saturday in the Carlyon.
“Craig Williams will ride her in the gallop and he will ride her on Saturday,” McEvoy confirmed yesterday.
Williams recently returned from an overseas stint riding in Japan and Europe during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter.
He made an immediate impact ahead of the spring last weekend winning the $12,000 Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) aboard Hard Stride at Caulfield giving McEvoy even more confidence he has the right hoop in the saddle this Saturday.
Smerdon is confident she is race fit and ready to add to her perfect four-from-four first-up record that includes her only Moonee Valley run to date when kicking off her second preparation in February last year.
Shamal Wind was last seen running fifth to Driefontein in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on April 26.
Another Robert Sangster graduate nominated for the Carlyon Stakes is Anthony Cummings’ Group 2 Challenge Stakes winner Villa Verde (4th).
The Not A Single Doubt mare ran third to Sarajevo in an 840m August 1 trial at Randwick leading up to her return this weekend.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained Angelic Light is another Carlyon nominee with Robert Sangster form but from last year.
The now five-year-old Holy Roman Emperor mare hasn’t raced since her second to Platelet in the 2013 edition of the Adelaide classic.
She’s had just the two official trials over the past 16 months, most recently finishing runner-up to Shamal Wind over 800m on a Heavy (10) at Canterbury on August 4.
Other notable Carlyon Stakes entries this year include Chris Waller’s Group 3 winner Kencella, last season’s Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge winner Minaj and classy type African Pulse from the Michael Moroney stables.
The 2014 Carlyon Stakes field and barriers are set for release on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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