The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Trainer Robert Smerdon remains confident Shamal Wind can lay a great account for herself in next week’s Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot despite having been somewhat disheartened by a conversation with notable Irish trainer Dermot Weld.
Weld has experienced notable success of his own with travelling contingencies over the last few decades, and is known largely in Australia for saddling two Melbourne Cup winners in Vintage Crop in 1993 and Media Puzzle in 2002.
Smerdon told The Daily Telegraph his conversation with Weld left him wondering if the daughter of Dubawi will be able to handle the conditions of the 2015 King’s Stand Stakes next week.
“He told me about a theory that’s that ‘the bounce factor’,” Smerdon said.
“Dermot reckons when you travel a horse you need to either run them straight away or give them three to four weeks.
“I don’t think there are many better trainers in the world at travelling horses than Dermot.
“But I’m not sure where that leaves us with Shamal Wind. She’s sort of in the middle there so I’m not sure what to expect, but I guess we’ll find out.”
Having been thrilled with the condition of the mare prior to her flight to England, Smerdon said Shamal Wind has taken well to her time abroad and will line up for the 2015 King’s Stand Stakes in good order.
“She has always had that brilliant turn of foot but until now it has only been a short sprint and the jockeys have had to really time their ride on her,” he said.
“Now she’s holding that speed for longer, meaning the jocks can let her go earlier and that makes her overall figures better.
“Johnnie Walker (vet) reckons she’s being as feisty as always, which is part of the reason we sent her over.
“I know she doesn’t have the record or class of the big guns that have done over before her but she’s tough and at home she just takes whatever comes.
“She’s in a box over there by herself and it doesn’t bother her. She’s like one of those people who only enjoys their own company.”
Returning this year for success in the Listed WJ Adams Stakes (1000m) on January 26th, Shamal Wind booked her ticket abroad when posting a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28th.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 King’s Stand Stakes odds, for which Shamal Wind can be taken at a quote of $8 for success.
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