Classy mare Shamal Wind showed she was on target for better-class sprints with a dominant first-up win at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Robert Smerdon-trained four-year-old, sent out the $3.10 favourite, burst through a gap mid-way down the straight in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1100m) and went on to score by 1-1/2 lengths over Anise ($9) with a half head to Smackdown ($10) third.
A Group Three race for mares now awaits Shamal Wind in three weeks and if successful again she will get her chance in feature spring sprints.
“She’s got to go to tougher competition now so with that weight, the barrier and the run she had she probably had to do that sort of thing today,” Smerdon said.
“We feel there’s definitely improvement in her still.”
Shamal Wind scored a first-up win last preparation before contesting Group race sprints without success in the rest of what Smerdon described as a “frustrating” campaign.
“It’s good to get her back after a break and into the winner’s stall again,” the trainer said.
The victory was a big thrill for 2kg claiming apprentice Jackie Beriman who had to leave Caulfield after the race to ride at Pakenham.
“It’s very exciting to get a winner during the spring carnival,” Beriman said.
“She (Shamal Wind) is on the rise still and I think she’s going on to bigger and better things.”