Plenty of daylight separates Salvatore from his closest rival. Kenton Wright www.raceimages.co.nz
To witness Salvatore (6 B. G. Howbaddouwantit – Just Berceuse, by Oregon) charging down the straight at Ellerslie on Saturday was to witness low flying.
A month ago, when the footing transformed quickly from heavy to good, Salvatore kicked off his winning spree with a four-length victory over subsequent Group II Coupland’s Mile winner Altered Image (Strategic Image) at Ellerslie over 1400m.
He returned eleven days later to crunch Atom Cat (Traditionally) by two-and-a-half-lengths over 1600m on Melbourne Cup Day, before kicking away from Sir Slick (Volksraad) by three-lengths over a mile at Tauranga at his most recent start, a fortnight ago.
Back at Ellerslie on Saturday for the $70,000, Group III, Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m), he again disposed of his rivals to take his winning sequence to four.
Not only is the Anne Herbert-trained galloper racing out of his skin, his appearance in body and coat is mint. He exudes a wellness and sheen to exceed or at least rival that of his current racing contemporaries.
Jockey Matthew Cameron said, “His eyes are like glass.”
Although always a talented horse when working through the grades, when generally racing on tracks with give in the ground to avoid jarring up, his recent explosiveness against high calibre opponents has been something of a revelation, and it appears unlikely to have ended yet.
After he had raced clear in the straight, under minimal urging, to win with a leg in the air by three-and-a-quarter-lengths, Herbert suggested the handicapper would most likely dictate his future, and that he could now be restricted to weight-for-age racing.
Herbert said, “I’ve never lost faith in the horse. He was always a very nervous horse, but he’s finally matured mentally as well as physically and the penny has dropped with him. He knows nothing is going to hurt him and he’s just doing his thing.”
“It was awesome today”, said Herbert. “He’s just dealing to them. He’s grown up, got some confidence, loving the tracks and it’s fantastic.”
Bred and owned by Jude and Paul Pearce, Salvatore took his record to ten win from twenty-seven starts for earnings of $233,168 when beating Catalina (Faltaat) and Atom Cat, with Alagant Satin (Al Akbar) in fourth.
The time for the mile was 1:35.35, last 600m 34.49.
With evidence of stamina lurking in the racing deeds of his grand-dam, Berceuse (Serenader II), it would seem a step to 2000m could be within his range, and a race like the $200,000, Group I, Zabeel Classic (WFA, 2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day could be worth more than just a cursory glance.