By David Brehaut
SHAMAL Wind is likely to find herself racing in city company in her next assignment after a runaway victory on debut in Ballarat today.
The three-year-old led and outclassed her rivals in the Rokk 66 Maiden, 1000m, on an all-fillies and mares day.
Caufield/Ballarat trainer Robert Smerdon had considered giving Shamal Wind ($1.85 favourite) her first outing in a Moonee Valley maiden, but certainly pulled the right rein when he chose to make her debut at Dowling Forest.
Moonee Valley is now a possible destination for Shamal Wind.
The daughter of Dubawi also provided the first win in the new eye-catching silks, featuring multi-coloured checks, for long-time owners Len and Jenny Lucas.
Len Lucas has been racing thoroughbreds for almost 30 years, but for most of that time has been in various partnerships.
He is now focusing on ownership in his right, thus the need for the new colours.
This was only the second time they have been worn in a race, which delighted the Lucases.
Shamal Wind was purchased in an Inglis sale and a great start to a new association with Smerdon.
Jockey Mark Zahra said Shamal Wind still had a lot to learn, but responded well when asked for an effort.
He said it was probably the first time she had been touched by a whip and had quickly put the race away – going away by almost five lengths.
Another first-starter Pinpoint was second, with Anniversary Belle third.
Len Lucas has had his share of success on the track, with group 2 Queensland Cup winner Gallopini his best.
THE Bart Cummings-trained Aliyana ($1.65 favourite) was another to race up on pace before scoring in the Polly Maiden, 1600m.
Having her fourth race start and second outing in Victoria, the Zabeel four-year-old fought off a brave the consistent Butterfly Blue by almost two lengths, which look the winner when she loomed up in the home straight.
TIGRESS Joy defied the early racing pattern, when horses racing on the pace dominated, to come from last and take out the Porter Plant BM72 Handicap, 1100m.
Ridden for luck by Dean Yendall, the Darren Weir-trained five-year-old made the most of inside runs to get the money for the fifth time in her 21-start career.