With the sheer quantity of quality three year olds around at the moment it’s easy to forget about a few we probably shouldn’t have.
One of the best examples is Salade, a horse that started as one of the favourites in the 2011 Golden Slipper.
It was just his second career start after winning impressively on debut in the Pago Pago Stakes.
In the main event he never threatened finishing about five lengths off the pace in eighth and that’s the last we saw of him, until now.
Salade never raced again as a juvenile and is yet to race at three but in two weeks time he’ll be back in action in the Royal Sovereign Stakes.
Much like the way he came from the wilderness to feature in the Golden Slipper owner Mathew Sandlom has a similarly audacious plan for the Newmarket Handicap.
“He trialled well, probably was a bit more forward than we thought having not raced for awhile so we’ll probably give him another trial and might give him a first-up run in the Royal Sovereign in a couple of weeks time,” Sandblom said.
“If he went particularly well in that we’d consider going down to Melbourne for the Newmarket, otherwise we’d stick around Sydney and try and pick up a nice race with him somewhere along the line.”
A leg problem kept him out of the action for almost 10 months but Sandlom is confident he’s fit enough to race.
“He had a little bit of an injury, a ligament injury. I think he’s recovered from that but probably the plan is to keep him to sprints even though he might handle a bit longer,” he said.
“That’s what’s on the agenda for him at the moment.”
You may remember that it was Salade’s association with Bart Cummings that made many headlines in the lead up to the Golden Slipper, the master trainer was attempting to become the first person to win the ‘Slipper with a horse having just its second start.
That association is no longer there with Sandblom having switched allegiances to Gwenda Markwell at Wooloongong.
“He’s been at my farm since May last year, then I gave him a recovery prep for four weeks at Gwenda’s,” Sandblom said.
“It’s just the attention he’ll get there in terms of looking after them. They put these special ice bits with little spa pumps on them when the horse stands and every time it works it gets the heat out of it.
“He’s a relatively heavy-set horse and since he’s had a little problem before you have to stay on top of it and try and keep him in one piece to get him to the races.
“I just thought he might have a better chance down there.”