Englishman Ryan Moore has been locked in to ride Shamal Wind at Royal Ascot.
The mare arrived in England on Friday (AEST) along with fellow Australian sprinters Brazen Beau and Wandjina and trainer Robert Smerdon said all reports were the Oakleigh Plate winner handled the 30-hour trip well.
The trainer confirmed Moore, who last year claimed two of Australia’s biggest races – the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup – had committed to ride Shamal Wind in the King’s Stand Stakes on June 16.
Smerdon said he had always subscribed to the theory it was a good move to have a local jockey aboard and was delighted to have Moore in the saddle in Shamal Wind’s attempt to join Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast as Australian winners of the King’s Stand Stakes.
“Good riders who ride somewhere all the time seem to know the nuances of the track and the local horses, and there’s just that home-ground advantage, so I’m very happy to have a guy like Ryan Moore in this scenario,” Smerdon said.
Shamal Wind, Brazen Beau and Wandjina left Melbourne on Wednesday night (AEST) and arrived in England on Friday (AEST) via Singapore and Sharjah.
“I spoke to the vet, Johnnie Walker, who travelled with the three horses and he said she travelled really well and was bouncing around when she got there,” Smerdon said.
“Everything has gone perfectly.
The Caulfield trainer will arrive in England on Monday to oversee the mare’s final preparations.
“The initial signs are good, but it takes a good 24 to 48 hours before you realise the impact on them,” Smerdon said.
“If the trip has worried them it can be that amount of time before you become aware, but she got on the plane a fit horse.”
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina will contest the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on June 20 while Brazen Beau is nominated for both the King’s Stand and Diamond Jubilee with trainer Chris Waller to monitor the weather before making a final call.