Robert Smerdon’s in-form mare Shamal Wind could be aimed at the Oakleigh Plate 2015 this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival after a smart win in the W.J. Adams Stakes at Sandown on Australia Day.
The five-year-old daughter of Dubawi jumped as the $2.70 favourite in Monday’s $120,000 Listed Mal Seccull W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) in her first-up run of the season.
Following four third place finishes last season, most recently to Vain Queen in the Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Shamal Wind continued her ace record when resuming over the long weekend.
Jumping from the inside alley with Dwayne Dunn aboard, who broke an 88-ride drought with the victory, on the line she had two and a quarter lengths to spare over Sandown specialist Vatican ($8.50) with Peter Moody’s multiple Group 1 winner Moment Of Change ($6.50) carrying the hefty 61.5kg top weight a further length away for third.
“I just tried to keep a positive mind and hopefully it would happen for me. You don’t lose your ability, you lose your confidence,” Dunn, who hadn’t ridden a winner since Magnapal at the same track back on November 19, said.
Disappointment of the race that featured just six runners was the $2.60 favourite The Quarterback, Robbie Griffiths’ Street Boss four-year-old suffering his first loss of the year when dead last nearly seven lengths off the winner having settled at the back of the pack without making up ground.
“He just didn’t come on. The vets are looking at him now and hopefully they can give an answer,” Griffiths said after the flat effort from the favourite.
Shamal Wind has now won seven of her 23 career starts, including five of her six first-up runs, for $590,975 in prize money.
She likely to be stepped up to Group 1 company now after successfully defending her WJ Adams Stakes title.
She won last year from the outside barrier of 13 first-up and went on to run a flat seventh behind Lankan Rupee in the $400,000 Group Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse.
The team is now eyeing a second shot at the Oakleigh Plate, the handicap clash to run on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 28, where his smart sprinter will get in with a nice light weight.
“She is not in the top bracket of all the top sprinters going around at the moment but every time you send her to the races she gives her best,” Smerdon’s stable representative Stuart Webb said post-win.
“Maybe she could progress as a lightweight to the Oakleigh Plate.”
Plans for Monday’s Adams Stakes third placegetter Moment Of Change meanwhile are to run in both the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield, a double the classy Barley A Moment gelding won last autumn.
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2015 WJ Adams Stakes Results
Sandown Race 2 – 26/01/2015
|1||2||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||–||1||56kg||$2.70|
|2||3||VATICAN||Byron Cozamanis||Craig Williams||2.25L||4||54kg||$8.50|
|3||1||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3.25L||2||61.5kg||$6.50|
|4||6||CANALI||Stephen Brown||Stephen Baster||4.25L||3||54kg||$41|
|5||7||KLISHINA||David Bourne||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||5L||5||54kg||$17|
|6||4||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||6.75L||6||54kg||$2.60F|
|–||5||SUMAKARAY||Brian Cox||Regan Bayliss (a)||–||0||–||–|