West Wind Blows adds to Turnbull intrigue
Romantic Warrior not the only international flavour to Turnbull Stakes
An overseas runner has commanded much of the attention in the lead-up to Saturday's TAB Turnbull Stakes, but Hong Kong star Romantic Warrior is not the only international flavour to the $750,000 Group 1.
Simon and Ed Crisford-trained gelding West Wind Blows brings form from European races containing some of the world's best horses.
The son of Teofilo has won five of his 12 starts, the most recent win coming in the Group 3 La Coupe Stakes (2000m) at Longchamp, which was followed by a second placing in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot and a third placing, albeit beaten 6-1/2 lengths, in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse (2011m) won by Paddington.
His final start before coming to Australia was a narrow second placing to Passenger in the Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes (2011m) at Windsor on August 26.
West Wind Blows owns a peak Timeform rating of 120, which is six pounds down on Romantic Warrior's career-best figure.
Racing And Sports Adam Blencowe said while West Wind Blows is a worthy adversary for Romantic Warrior in the 2000m Turnbull, he is more excited about his prospects in the 2400m Caulfield Cup.
"He's a good horse, West Wind Blows, and he has run into horses who do operate in Romantic Warrior's world," Blencowe said.
"But, while he's run gamely against the likes of Paddington, Emily Upjohn, Desert Crown, Hurricane Lane and Pyledriver, he's lacked a gear that they have got and he should lack a gear that Romantic Warrior has got.
"I don't know if the Turnbull is his race, but he looks a really good Caulfield Cup chance."
What West Wind Blows does have in his favour in the Turnbull Stakes is a weight advantage with West Wind Blows to carry 56.5kg and Romantic Warrior 59kg.
Paul Holley has been looking after West Wind Blows at Werribee, where he has been stabled alongside Romantic Warrior in the Vintage Crop barn, and Holley has been happy with the way he has settled in and worked at Werribee.
"Very happy, he's settled in fine, he's been eating well and he seems to be enjoying it," Holley told RSN927 earlier this week.
"He does seem to improve as the year goes on. The more runs he has, he does seem to get better as he goes on.
"Hopefully there will be a little bit more improvement in him, but I'd say he's fit coming into this race anyway."
Top UK jockey Jamie Spencer has been flown out for the ride in the Turnbull Stakes, in which West Wind Blows has drawn barrier eight.