2016 Sydney Cup Target for Gust Of Wind

Randwick horseman John Sargent may have lost his VRC Oaks winner Kirramosa to Japan but he still has big autumn plans for fellow mare Gust Of Wind who targets the Sydney Cup 2016 next year.

Gust Of Wind

Gust Of Wind targets the 2016 Sydney Cup over the two miles at Royal Randwick this coming April. Photo: Steve Hart.

A winner of over $890,000 in prize money over her 18 start career down under, Alamosa five-year-old Kirramosa was this week retired from racing with connections selling the 2013 Crown Oaks champion to international breeding interests.

Not having won a race since her 2500m success at Flemington in the Group 1 two years ago, her final run for Sargent was a second last when sixth to Who Shot Thebarman in the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m) on November 14.

Trainer and part-owner Sargent confirmed her sale to a leading Japanese stud to AAP this week, saying her best days on the track were behind her and that the offer came at the right time for him and fellow connections.

“It was a good offer and we thought it was time to move her on,” he said.

“She was just getting ready to come back into the stable when they came up with the offer.

“She only really had until the end of the season before going off to stud so we thought it was best to take the offer.”

The New Zealand-bred Kirramosa will always hold a special spot in Sargent’s memory as she provided him with his first Group 1 success post-setting up a stable base at Randwick after leading New Zealand’s training ranks in 2012.

“She has been a good mare. A lot of things didn’t work out for her injury-wise and whatever but I’m sure she will do a good time at stud,” he added.

Among his current staying ranks is a genuine hope in the staying feature of The Championships during the upcoming Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, Darci Brahma four-year-old Gust Of Wind.

A winner of three of her 10 career starts to date, the mare has amassed $974,900 in current prize money and is best known for her Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) victory at Royal Randwick this April gone.

In the ATC Oaks Gust Of Wind defeated Chris Waller’s subsequent Cox Plate champion of the spring Winx, but she has failed to win again since.

Her best result during her latest campaign was a fourth when beaten three and three-quarter lengths by Kiwi galloper Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.

She rounded out her spring with a luckless sixth behind Darren Weir’s $101 roughie Prince Of Penzance in the ‘race that stops a nation’ when beaten two and a half lengths in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.

Sargent named the $1.6 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) over the same two mile distance as the iconic Melbourne edition at Randwick in April as the major autumn aim for Gust Of Wind next time in.

Tentative all-in Sydney Cup odds at bookies around the country have the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Geelong Cup – Sandown Cup double winner Almoonqith as early favourite to atone for his 18th in the Melbourne Cup this season.

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