Smart sprinter Saluter is back in Queensland looking for dry tracks after his southern sojourn was restricted by wet weather.
Saluter hasn’t raced since he finished down the track in a benchmark event in Adelaide in May.
It was the last of his three starts for the Victorian training partnership of Lee and Anthony Freedman before connections sent him back to Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote.
“We had a run of wet tracks in Queensland and the owners decided to send Saluter to Victoria looking for dry tracks,” Heathcote said.
“Naturally, it then decided to rain down there and he only had the three runs. There is no doubt he is better on top of the track.”
Saluter will return in the PFD Foods Open (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
“He goes well fresh and he has had a nice lead-in. He should race well,” Heathcote said.
Saluter originally competed as a rig but was gelded late last year on his trainer’s recommendation.
“I knew he was a Commands stallion but really, it came down to having a good racehorse or taking a punt on Saluter being a commercial sire,” Heathcote said.
“I think they made the right decision and I think you will see a good horse this campaign.”
Saluter has won more than $900,000 prize money thanks largely to his victory in the Magic Millions Guineas as a three-year-old.
“We will be looking at the summer’s sprints and the Magic Millions carnival again with him,” Heathcote said.
Glen Colless will ride Saluter on Saturday and is also on standby for an important Group One ride for the Heathcote stable.
Colless is pencilled in to partner Hopfgarten in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 27 depending on the horse’s handicap.
“If Boban runs Hopfgarten will get only 52 kilograms which is below Glen’s weight,” Heathcote said.
“But if Boban doesn’t run he will get 54 (kilograms) which should suit Glen.”
Hopfgarten and his Group One-winning stablemate Buffering will leave for Melbourne later this month.
Buffering is being set for a first-up tilt at the Group One Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 2 and has impressed Heathcote since his jump-out two weeks ago.