Trainer John Salanitri has revealed that he is yet to make a decision as to which state classy sprinter Royal Island will race in on Saturday.
Royal Island has returned to racing in typically competitive form this time, but is undoubtedly a far-better prospect of success in races that are run on a rain-soaked track.
Salanitri has included the Dubawi gelding in nominations for each of the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney and a BM90 Handicap race over 1400m at his local Caulfield track in Melbourne, and told Racing Victoria that he will allow the grade of the tracks and weather to dictate which option he horse will take.
“Preferably we will run here at Caulfield but that depends on the weather, because he is nothing but a wet tracker and when I say wet track I mean the old fashioned wet tracker,” Salanitri said.
“Sometimes he can perform okay on the slow ground but otherwise he is a duffer if it is any better.
“He is good enough to win me a Group 1 race, it might sound stupid, but he is that good on those really wet tracks, but these days the surfaces are so well drained you are flat out getting one of those old-fashioned wet tracks so we have to go with what we are dealt with.
“He is not the best of track workers, he just does enough to please you, so he is a frustrating horse to train, I’m always praying whatever race you’ve got set for him you get rain.”
Royal Island has claimed six wins and a further seven minors through a total of twenty-four career starts, since first appearing on course competitively in late 2012.
Returning to racing in 2015 for a maiden black type win in the Listed Wangoom Handicap (1200m) during the Warrnambool Carnival in May, Royal Island continued to produce some notable results but was unlucky to find ‘Good’ tracks several times and failed to fire.
Given little chance of defending his crown in the Wangoom Handicap first-up this time, the gelding out of Jessie Jane was at the tail of the field rounding onto the final straight but produced a scintillating turn of foot to finish a close second to Yesterday’s Songs.
While failing to make anything of his run in the A Sheppard Constructions Handicap (1250m) on May 28th, Royal Island charged home to finish a close second to Thermal Current in the Gold Topaz (1200m) at Swan Hill last time out on June 10th.