Trust In A Gust was a clear winner of the VOBIS Racehorse of the Year which was awarded at the Crown Entertainment Complex on Sunday.
The Swettenham Stud bred sprinter has been a superb advertisement for the Scheme and he will return to racing at Moonee Valley this Saturday in a Benchmark 90 Handicap over 1200 metres.
Trainer Darren Weir has been pleased with his progress and, with further improvement, connections will consider setting him for the G1 Emirates Hcp at Flemington.
Trust In A Gust started last season winning bonuses at Echuca and Stawell prior to finishing fourth in the LR Gothic Stakes at Caulfield in October. He followed up with victories in the VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m) at Ballarat and VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) at Caulfield before completing a hat-trick in the Chandler Macleod Stakes at Moonee Valley in January.
He was also runner-up in the VOBIS Gold Eldorado at Wangaratta in March and VOBIS Gold Reef at Flemington in April.
“It’s a great scheme – the prizemoney and bonuses are terrific,” Weir said on more than one occasion. “It’s an initiative that gives so much back to owners and that’s what it’s all about.”
Trust In A Gust (3c Keep The Faith – Subtle Breeze by Storm Cat) made $45,000 from Swettenham’s draft at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. He won 6 times in 10 starts for earnings of $453,000 last season and the value of VOBIS was borne out by the fact only two of those wins were in the metro area.
Swettenham Stud owner Adam Sangster bought his dam Subtle Breeze for $140,000 during the Robert Sangster dispersal at Keeneland in November 2007. She is a three-quarter sister to Balanchine (Storm Bird) who won the 1994 Irish Derby and English Oaks.
Subtle Breeze has colts by Swettenham sires Equiano and Master Of Design in the pipeline. The Equiano made $120,000 to the bid of Lloyd Kennewell at the 2014 Gold Coast Magic Millions.