Shamal Wind Confirmed for 2015 Oakleigh Plate

February 5th, 2015

Appearing to have returned to racing in scintillating form this season, trainer Robert Smerdon has revealed classy mare Shamal Wind will head straight into the 2015 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 28th, rather that contest a final ‘freshen-up’ run over the coming weeks.

Shamal Wind will contest the 2015 Oakleigh Plate second-up. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Shamal Wind will contest the 2015 Oakleigh Plate second-up. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Jumping from the gates well in the Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) first-up on January 26th, Shamal Wind was immediately settled in prime position on the heels of the race’s early leaders; receiving an ideal run in transit before producing a strong kick late to hit the line two and a half lengths in the clear of closest rivals Vatican and three-time Group 1 winner Moment Of Change.

Having reportedly taken well to work over recent weeks, Smerdon told Racing Ahead the Dubawi mare’s fresh form in exceptional and the team will keep her ticking over at home in the lead-up to the 2015 Oakleigh Plate.

“She’s going to go straight to the Oakleigh Plate,” Smerdon said.

“Her fresh form is really good so we’re going to give her that gap between runs and go straight into that race.”

Securing seven wins and a further eight minor places from her 23 competitive starts so far, Shamal Wind was a standout for Smerdon over the autumn of 2014; winning the WJ Adams first-up and placing a credible seventh in the Oakleigh Plate.

Progressing to victory in the Braybrook Handicap (1000m) and a close fifth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) on April 26th, the mare out of Firemaid placed fourth in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) upon returning in spring.

Running third in the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m) on September 20th, Shamal Wind continued to impress at black type level but was unable to break through for another race win; finishing third in each of the Group 3 Sportingbet Series Final (1200m), Group 2 Caulfield Sprint and Group 3 Mumm Stakes (1100m).

A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Oakleigh Plate is due to be completed and released by midday, February 25th.

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