Gust Of Wind on history-making Cups path

SYDNEY Sep 2 2016

On the same day Winx is expected to reinforce her champion status, the last horse to beat her will begin a history-making path of her own.

It will be 511 days since Winx was last beaten when she looks for her 11th consecutive win in the Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

In the following race Gust Of Wind, the horse responsible for her last defeat, will resume her career in the Group Two Tramway Stakes (1400m).

The mares' careers have gone on different trajectories since last year's Australian Oaks but both are attempting to write a new chapter of racing history in spring.

While Winx looks for two Cox Plates and 15 consecutive victories, Gust Of Wind will attempt to become the first pregnant mare to win the Melbourne Cup.

Gust Of Wind finished fourth in last year's Caulfield Cup before an unlucky sixth in the Melbourne Cup in which Criterion was third.

Sir Owen Glenn has since bought Gust Of Wind who will be served next week by his stallion Criterion who is standing his first season.

Gust Of Wind had a fruitless autumn carnival which culminated in the mare pulling up lame after her last in the Epona Stakes at Rosehill in March forcing her out of the Sydney Cup.

"I knew there was something wrong with the way she was galloping," trainer John Sargent said.

"Now she's had a great break and she's heavier than she's ever been so she looks great."

Sargent said it was not uncommon for fillies and mares to have a below-par campaign during their careers.

"I've had a lot of those good three- and four-year-old fillies and they have that off-preparation," he said.

"You'll see a lot of the good ones from last year battle this year but when they finally come back to themselves they're right back at it."

Gust Of Wind is set to start in the Group One George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in two weeks, where she is likely to meet Winx, before travelling to Melbourne for the Turnbull Stakes (2000m).

"She's quite clean winded so she'll only need three or four runs into a Melbourne or Caulfield Cup," Sargent said.

Matt Coughlan - AAP

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