Promising two-year-old Salade will be Bart Cummings’ final chance to claim a Group One win during the Sydney Carnival when he runs in Saturday’s Champagne Stakes at Randwick.
Salade burst onto the scene with a brilliant debut win in the Group Two Pago Pago Stakes on March 26, forcing his way into the Golden Slipper field seven days later.
The son of Snitzel was trying to create history by winning the $3.5 million Slipper at just his second start but it was a mountain too high and he finished eighth in the feature won by Sepoy.
Cummings had Salade entered for last Saturday’s Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) but the colt was scratched on race morning due to the wet conditions.
He is the stable’s only representative across the four Group One races at Randwick on Saturday which brings to a close the Sydney Carnival, and the master trainer believes Salade is in with “a good chance”.
“I didn’t run him last week because he had topweight and it was a heavy track, it ended up being a heavy 10,” Cummings said.
“If it stays reasonable this week he’ll run and I’m very happy with the way he’s progressing. He’s a very promising horse.”
Cummings has already trained the winner of four Group One races this season with all the victories coming courtesy of champion So You Think in the spring in Melbourne.
So You Think is now in the care of Aiden O’Brien in Ireland after the dual Cox Plate winner was sold to Coolmore following last year’s Melbourne Cup.
The legendary trainer said the Champagne Stakes start wouldn’t have been considered had Salade raced last week.
“We would have turned him out, but after this he’ll go out for a break and come back for the (Group One) Golden Rose,” Cummings said.
A final field of 12 juveniles was declared on Wednesday for the $400,000 Group One Champagne which includes last-start Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Helmet.
Salade came up with the inside barrier with Hugh Bowman to ride while Helmet will begin from barrier eight.
Sires’ Produce runner-up Uate has gate five with Nash Rawiller retaining the mount while Patinack Farm will be represented by Boys On Tour (barrier 10) and Pane In The Glass (four).
Pane In the Glass was an eye-catching third in the Sires, coming from back in the field off a slow pace.