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Robert Smerdon has altered Shamal Wind’s path towards a Group One sprint to take in a race at Flemington.

Smerdon was set to run Shamal Wind against mares at Moonee Valley last Saturday but decided to wait a week for the open Braybrook Handicap.

The Caulfield trainer said he wanted to keep Shamal Wind as fresh as possible for the Group One Sportingbet Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on April 26.

Shamal Wind winning the WJ Adams Stakes at Caulfield ridden by Ryan Maloney and trained by Robert Smerdon - (photo by Steven Dowden/Race Horse Photos Australia)

Shamal Wind winning the WJ Adams Stakes at Caulfield ridden by Ryan Maloney and trained by Robert Smerdon - (photo by Steven Dowden/Race Horse Photos Australia)

“We decided to give her three weeks into the Sangster to give her a bit of space between runs,” Smerdon said.

“She’s such a good horse fresh so we went that way.”

Smerdon said the Moonee Valley track favoured on-pacers last Saturday, justifying his decision not to run the four-year-old.

Shamal Wind has drawn barrier one for her Flemington assignment which concerned Smerdon slightly.

Handy galloper The Bowler will also have his first start for Smerdon in the Smithfield Handicap (1200m).

The Bowler is one of a group of horses transferred to Smerdon while the colt’s previous trainer Tony Vasil receives treatment for depression in Queensland.

The colt finished 1-1/2 lengths from Written Up in the Bendigo Guineas (1400m) but Smerdon said that run confirmed The Bowler was a short-course performer.

“The 1400 (metres) stretched him last time and he didn’t get it,” Smerdon said.

“He’ll stick to 1200 metres now.”

The Bowler has won at 1000 metres and twice at 1200 metres in his 14-start career.

Apprentice Josh Cartwright will ride both Shamal Wind and The Bowler.

 
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