Ambitious spring plan for Gust Of Wind

The last horse to beat Winx will try to carve out her own piece of history as the first pregnant mare to win the Melbourne Cup.

Gust Of Wind, the 2015 Australian Oaks winner, has had a luckless time since, while runner-up Winx has gone on to win every race she has contested, seven at Group One level.

But Gust Of Wind’s trainer John Sargent is keen to have another crack at the Melbourne Cup in which the mare finished sixth, 1-1-1/2 lengths behind her future suitor, third-placed Criterion.

And Sargent believes that being in-foal could be an advantage.

“I did it a lot with mares when I was in New Zealand,” Sargent said.

“They always seem to race well. They grow a lot of hormones and blossom.

“You just have to monitor them and make sure they are in the right cycles and then send them up to the stud.

“She will be up and back in a day.

“She will be back in the stable at the end of this month after a good break.

“Gust Of Wind is one of several mares Sir Owen Glenn has bought to go to his horse Criterion who is going to stud this year.

“We will get her ready for the Melbourne Cup which will be her last race.”

A home-bred for Glenn, three-time Group One winner Criterion will stand at Newgate Farm this spring as the highest Australian prize money earner to go stud with more than $7.2 million.

Trained by David Payne to win the Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby, Criterion won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Caulfield Stakes in the care of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

He also finished second to Winx in last year’s Cox Plate.

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