Salvatore and Alvin Ng at full stretch on the line. Kenton Wright www.raceimages.co.nz
A readjustment to race watching was required at Ellerslie on Saturday as horses at the sharp end of a finish were seen flying home on the good ground, in marked contrast to the pedestrian plodding on heavy going at meetings in recent times.
Few winners throughout the day appeared to hit the line in slicker fashion than Salvatore (6 B. G. Howbaddouwantit – Just Berceuse, by Oregon), a four-length winner of the $20,000, South Auckland Racing Club Cup, a Restricted Open over 1400-metres.
On dismounting, rider Alvin Ng told trainer Anne Herbert, “He was still under a hold at the 300 metres then I let him go.”
After racing third in the open on a hot pace, Salvatore could have been forgiven if unable to muster a sprint in the straight, but the fact that he simply burst away from his rivals was mightily impressive.
The best in his wake was talented group one winner Altered Image (Strategic Image), who came off an impressive sprint win at Hastings last start, while promising galloper Panama (Traditionally) finished two-lengths away in third.
The time for the 1400m was 1:21.53, last 600m 34.37.
Herbert attributed the performance by Salvatore to his appreciation of better ground, when saying, “It’s the first decent track he’s seen for awhile. We kept him off firm tracks because he jarred up last year and while he kind of goes okay in the wet he’s not really a wet tracker. It’s great to see him on a nice track today and run like that.”
Herbert said she will now look towards an Open Handicap over 1600-metres at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup Day, November 2, as the next assignment for Salvatore.
Owned by Jude and Paul Pearce, Salvatore has now won seven of his twenty-four starts for earnings of $123,418.