2015 Stradbroke Handicap Bid for Trust In A Gust

After an autumn campaign was cut short due to injury dual Group 1 winner Trust In A Gust is on track for a Stradbroke Handicap 2015 bid during next year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

Trust In A Gust

Trust In A Gust could target the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane next winter. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The Darren Weir-trained Keep The Faith four-year-old enjoyed a stellar start to this season winning four of his five starts since August including two elite levels.

He shot to fame with a narrow victory in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) before his Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) victory over the Caulfield mile 13 days later.

While plans were to continue on and possibly tackle the Cox Plate in October or the Emirates Stakes over the Flemington mile during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Trust In A Gust injured his left fore-leg pulling up lame post-Toorak win.

Spelled immediately, subsequent x-rays to the injured leg revealed no serious chips or fractures with minor bone bruising discovered via an MRI.

That’s good news for the horse and good news for connections including majority owner David Speechley who told Racing Victoria Trust In A Gust could be heading up to Queensland next preparation.

“A spell will do him the world of good and when he comes back he’s going to have about eight weeks in Warrnambool before [trainer Darren Weir] gets him to Ballarat, and then he’s going to go to Sydney for probably one run in one of the weight-for-ages and then we are going to head to Queensland,” Speechley said.

Whether he goes down the handicap or weight-for-age path will be determined by his progress but Speechley was keen to get him to the $2 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap, run over 1400m at Eagle Farm or 1350m at Doomben if the upgrades to Brisbane’s premier track aren’t completed in time for the June showdown.

“He will be set for a Brisbane winter campaign; that could take him to the Stradbroke or that could take him to some weight-for-age races,” Speechley added.

“The handicaps are probably a little but iffy, depending on what weight he gets,

“The Stradbroke would be fantastic because it’s worth $2 million this year.”

The most likely weight-for-age option during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival for the galloper is the $350,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm in early March.

Weir confirmed plans for a short spell between the autumn and the winter with Trust In A Gust, and was confident the horse would make a full recovery and be back in the winner’s stall next time in.

“We’ll give him a quick spell and we’ll bring him back in for the autumn and we’ll see what we do,” Weir said.

“He’s good, there’s nothing wrong with him, he just wants a good spell, he wants a couple of months off; he obviously had a crook foot and a bit of a joint issue but nothing significant.”

After the winter a career at stud looms for Trust In A Gust, with Speechley unsure whether he would have another Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign in 2015 or be retired before the end of the year.

“We have not made any serious plans but we have had a chat with Adam Sangster from Swettenham Stud,” he said.

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