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John Sargent Discusses Gust Of Wind's Cup Prospects
New Zealand-born Sydney-based trainer John Sargent believes classy mare Gust Of Wind (Darci Brahma-Starrystarrynight, by Sadler's Wells) has had the perfect preparation for today's Gr1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington and says he is as confident as he can be leading into the big race. Last season's Australian Oaks winner is coming off a pleasing effort in the Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), when finding the line well to finish fourth (beaten 3.8 lengths) behind Mongolian Khan, Trip To Paris and Our Ivanhowe. "I think there is more improvement to the extent that Chad Schofield [jockey] had never ridden her before," Sargent told Melbourne's Radio Sports National. "I don't think he will be sitting as he was in the Caulfield Cup and letting them - Mongolian Khan etc - sprint around him...and then she started to make her run. She is more a grinding two-miler...I think we've learned a lot from Caulfield." He added: "Her work on Tuesday was very good for her. She galloped in company on the course proper at Flemington and finished on terms with another horse." Sargent is more than pleased with Gust Of Wind's condition leading into the Melbourne Cup, but says it is difficult to be too confident given the strength of the field. "I couldn't be happier with the horse. She's drawn a shade wide [barrier 19] but I'll leave that up to Chad," he said. "Ideally I'd like to tag onto something from the half mile and get a nice roll from the turn so she can really get trucking because if they sit and sprint it's not her game...she's such a big striding mare." He added: "Her preparation has been trouble-free and let's hope she produces on the day. My confidence levels are as high as they can be in a field of this quality; it's a very strong field." Gust Of Wind will carry 51kg and will jump from barrier 19. She is currently a $31 chance with TAB.