Salsamor out but high hopes for Montaser

Talented colt Salsamor is set to be scratched from Flemington’s card on Saturday but lightly-raced stablemate Montaser will be aiming to book his ticket to New Zealand for the $1million Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

The Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained colts have both accepted for the Rain Lover Handicap (1400m BM70) but Busuttin confirmed on Friday morning that Salsamor won’t kick-off his Guineas preparation this weekend, as he wasn’t happy with the colt’s blood picture.

The Cranbourne-based trainers have been in flying form since Christmas, having saddled seven winners from 17 runners with a strike rate of 42%, and told if Montaser salutes on Saturday he will head over to the rich three-year-old feature at Ellerslie on January 27.

“He’s going to be hard to beat on Saturday, third-up at Flemington, and if he can win he’ll go to the Karaka 3YO mile race a fortnight later,” Busuttin said.

“1400m at Flemington will suit him and he’s definitely a genuine winning chance.

“He’s progressing nicely and he’s a very handy horse, he works as good as anything in the stable.”

Busuttin Racing has also recently welcomed back some of their major autumn players with Sully, Main Stage, Johnny Vinko and Persian Empire returning to their Cranbourne base.

And as these promising Derby prospects kick off their campaigns Busuttin says the team will look to build off the momentum already mustered by the stable in recent weeks.

“We’ve got nice horses with good owners that really support the stable, things are going well,” explained Busuttin.

“We’ve had three city winners in the last ten days and now we want to improve on that and win some of the big races.”

Field for the Rain Lover Bm 70 Handicap (1400m)