2015 Oakleigh Plate May Figure for Shamal Wind

January 27th, 2015

Charging home to secure an impressive victory in Monday’s Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Sandown, trainer Robert Smerdon’s stable foreman Stuart Webb has revealed the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28th may yet figure for classy mare Shamal Wind.

Shamal Wind may contest the 2015 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Shamal Wind may contest the 2015 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Jumping from the gates well, jockey Dwayne Dunn settled Shamal Wind on the heels of the W.J. Adams Stakes’ early leaders; receiving an ideal run in transit before exploding from the pack in the final straight to find the line two-and-a-half lengths in the clear of closest rival Vatican.

Conceding the team feels the daughter of Dubawi is a class below a strong Group 1 field, Webb credited Monday’s win to ideal racing conditions but said a race like the Oakleigh Plate with a low handicap may in fact figure as an ideal third-up target.

“Yesterday she was the winner a long way out where you don’t always see that in her races,” Webb told Racing Ahead.

“Tempo was there and they just allowed her to just be that little bit closer and travelling so when Dwayne did go for her and pressed the button she had an electrifying turn of foot for that short burst that she’s got.

“Robert is of the opinion that when we have got to that Group 1 level she’s been left short, so whether she does to Adelaide or we do have a go at a couple of better races here we’re just not sure.

“She might end up in an Oakleigh Plate, down in the weights and off a hot seat.

“We discussed it yesterday and yes she’s below that level but running third in a race like that might also be more beneficial that winning another lower-grade black type race.”

Claiming seven wins and a further eight minor places over her 23 start career so far, Shamal Wind performed well over the 2014 edition of the Autumn Carnival; taking out the W.J. Adams Plate before placing seventh in the Oakleigh Plate on February 22nd.

Returning to the winner’s circle in the Braybrook Handicap (1000m), the mare out of Firemaid returned to the paddock following a credible run for fifth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) on April 26th.

Running third in each of the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1000m) and Group 3 Sprint Series Final (1200m) and Group 3 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) upon returning in spring, Shamal Wind ended her brief campaign third in the Group 3 Mumm Stakes (1100m) on Crown Oaks Day.

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