A lack of wet tracks in Melbourne has forced trainer John Salanitri to bring mudlark Royal Island north for Saturday’s Civic Stakes at Rosehill.
The winner of the Listed Wangoom, the feature sprint at the Warrnambool carnival in May, Royal Island has five wins from nine starts on soft or heavy tracks, which have been scarce on his home tracks this winter.
Salanitri, who trains at Caulfield, is hoping the Rosehill turf stays soft until Saturday’s Listed Civic Stakes (1350m).
“The wetter the better for him,” Salanitri said.
“He is a real old-fashioned wet tracker and it’s hard to find one down here.
“A lot of the meetings have been moved to synthetic tracks and even Moonee Valley can get firm.
“He is a very talented horse and I want to get his rating up to get him into the better races.
“I thought about taking him to Brisbane for the carnival but he wouldn’t have qualified and even they didn’t have the wet winter tracks like normal.”
Salanitri has yet to secure a jockey for Royal Island who is on the limit weight of 54kg.
“We’ll accept with him and see who we can get,” he said.
“The top jockeys are either already booked or too heavy but he will be a very good ride for whoever we can get.”
The trainer covered the bases by entering Royal Island for an open handicap at Caulfield on Saturday and also nominated stablemate To Be Honest for Rosehill.
“To Be Honest is the opposite to Royal Island. She doesn’t like the wet,” Salanitri said.
She will go to Ballarat on Wednesday instead.
Dothraki, a last-start Group Three winner at the Gold Coast, is the 59.5kg topweight for the Civic Stakes with See The World to carry 57kg.
June Stakes winner Wouldnt It Be Nice has 56kg and is also expected to be entered for next week’s Ramornie Handicap at the Grafton carnival.