Robert Smerdon has ruled out an interstate Group One assignment for Shamal Wind this weekend to concentrate on another next month.
Smerdon nominated the mare for Saturday’s Group One Galaxy in Sydney but will instead stick to his original plan to run her at Moonee Valley.
He believes the Melbourne race is a better fit in his plan to aim Shamal Wind at next month’s Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide.
The trainer will still be represented in the Galaxy by stakes-winning filly Anatina.
Shamal Wind, unplaced in the Oakleigh Plate last start, has 62kg in the Health Science Planning Consultants Handicap (1000m) on Saturday but the three kilo claim of apprentice Josh Cartwright will reduce the impost.
“We had a plan after the Oakleigh Plate to head towards the Sangster and this is part of the path there,” Smerdon said.
“We threw an entry in for the Galaxy and had a look. But we wanted to keep her to mares races going to the Sangster.”
Shamal Wind is scheduled to run over 1100m at Caulfield two weeks after Saturday ahead of the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes, now known as the Sportingbet Classic, over 1200m on April 26.
The four-year-old dual Listed winner and Group Two placegetter won over 955m at Moonee Valley last year and Smerdon said the course was not an issue.
“She’s got no quirks in that regard but it comes down to how the track plays,” he said.
Smerdon, however, said the weight was a concern.
“She’s not a big horse. She’s strongly built but she’s not very tall,” he said.
“The weight has to be an issue.”
Shamal Wind is on the second line of betting at $3.80 behind the Peter Moody-trained Angels Beach who is undefeated from two runs this campaign.
Smerdon is looking forward to the return of three-year-old Hill Spy in the Epworth Medical Imaging Handicap (1000m) and expects him to make his presence felt.
The trainer said Hill Spy had been gelded since his spring campaign.
Hill Spy won in Adelaide on debut and was third in the Vain Stakes second-up but failed to fire in two subsequent spring starts.
“He’s had a good grounding this time in with a jump-out at Caulfield and a trial at Cranbourne. He’s ready to run well,” Smerdon said.