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Image: Steve Hart

John Sargent can always lay claim to training the last horse to beat champion Winx.

It happened in the 2015 ATC Australian Oaks when Gust Of Wind upstaged the favourite to score by 2-1/2 lengths.

After her second in the Oaks, the Chris Waller-trained Winx went on to win her next 33 starts, including 25 at Group One level, over the next four years.

Sargent admits that piece of racing trivia comes up often and is something he is happy to look back on.

“There’s no-one that can equal that, can they? The last horse to beat Winx,” Sargent said.

“Albeit she won 33 races after that, but that was a great thrill winning the Oaks with Gust Of Wind that day.

“It does come up a bit and I do take satisfaction because I used to go and watch Winx race every start.

“She’s just a phenomenon, the best horse I’ve ever seen all around the world.

“It was a great thrill to be able to do that. And what Winx did after I beat her was unbelievable.”

Five years on from Gust Of Wind’s triumph, Sargent will saddle up two runners – Aspect Ratio and Stick ‘Em Up – in this year’s edition of the Group One ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Sargent has also had Oaks wins with Kirramosa in the 2013 Group One VRC Oaks in Melbourne and Quintessential in the 2012 Group One Queensland Oaks in Brisbane.

Both Aspect Ratio and Stick ‘Em Up were at $41 in early betting on Tuesday after a field of 14 was declared but Sargent was hopeful they could defy their prices.

“I think Stick ‘Em Up put her hand up to go for the race after the Adrian Knox last Saturday,” Sargent said.

“She was last on the turn and came home strongly for fifth so she warrants running and she’s by Dundeel.

“She will get the trip. She ran eighth in the VRC Oaks last spring but she’s stronger this time.

“And Aspect Ratio has been set for this one race.”

Aspect Ratio finished 10th in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) last Saturday week and Sargent is banking on the added distance bringing her into contention.

“She’s had blinkers added for her final and she’s by Declaration Of War, the sire of the Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare,” Sargent said.

“I know she’ll get the 2400 metres which is a big bonus because that’s the question with a few of them.

“She’ll need that extra 400 metres because Probabeel and Colette and Shout The Bar are classy fillies. But once they get out to 2400 metres it’s a different story.”

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