Cranbourne trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have a number of runners entered for Saturday’s Sandown meeting in Melbourne and the Morphettville meeting in Adelaide, where rain-affected form will be the order of the day. With the Victorian venue currently a Heavy9 and the South Australian course rated a Soft7, the expat Kiwi trainers can take heart from the fact their runners, in the main, enjoy cut in the ground.
New Zealand-bred stayers Rising Red and Salsamor look well placed in an open Ladbrokes Switch Handicap (2100m), with Busuttin slightly favouring the latter. “I would have been confident with Rising Red, but second up on a really wet track over 2100m, he might just feel the pinch fitness-wise,” Busuttin said. “There is no reason why Salsamor won’t run well again. He’s getting up there in the weights a bit, but it doesn’t seem an overly strong field. “He will love the mud. I think he is two from two on heavy tracks, so with Damien Oliver on board, he is probably our best at Sandown.”
The son of Tavistock strung together four wins in succession before finishing 11th behind stablemate Inverloch in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield last start. The in-form stable have sent out 82 winners nationally in Australia this season with their runners earning close to A$6 million in prizemoney.
Busuttin and Young have a trio of runners across the border, with progressive filly Sierra Sue having to overcome a wide draw (20) in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m). “She does fly the gates and just looking at it on paper, there is no speed at all in the race,” Busuttin said. “I’d say she will get across and get a good position easy enough and with the wet track they’re all going to be getting out wide, so that might negate the wide draw.
“I’d be hopeful she would get through the track. Being by Darci Brahma, they seem to get through it alright. She is out of a Deputy Governor mare and they were wet trackers, so I would be fairly confident she will handle it. “It’s a very good South Australian Oaks, as they always are, but I think she can be right amongst it.”
Meanwhile, the training partners will be looking to land further black type with last start winner Snogging in the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) and I Am Eloquent in the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m). “I Am Eloquent is going really well and is two for two on heavy tracks. “She ran well in the spring and had a good break and has certainly come on for it. I think she will run a big race as well. “We’ve got three nice horses over tere and they are all legitimate chances.”