Rain has saved John Salanitri’s long-range plan for Royal Island.
Salanitri’s noted wet-tracker Royal Island will be chasing back-to-back victories in the Listed Wangoom Handicap at Warrnambool on Wednesday.
The trainer was concerned the track may not be wet enough, but further rain on Tuesday has boosted his confidence.
“He’s fit and well and I can’t fault him in any way,” Salanitri said.
“He’s nothing but a wet-tracker. We were hoping to get the wet track at Warrnambool and you would be stiff if you didn’t.
“It seemed like the right option for him to try and go back to back.”
Salanitri said Royal Island’s confirmation and action were best suited to soft ground.
“He’s by Dubawi and a lot of them seem to handle it and this guy just wants the wetter the better,” Salanitri said.
“He drew the inside last year and he’s drawn a little wide this year, but I’m hoping that won’t matter.
“It’s hard to get the old-fashioned wet tracks but Warrnambool seems to be the place.”
Royal Island won last year’s Wangoom off the minimum weight of 54kg and rises 1kg this year, but will still be racing off the limit.
Salanitri’s stable is in form.
He won the final race at Caulfield last Saturday with Hard Call and went within a short half-head of making it a double when Nat’s The Boss finished second.
“We had a good day and should have had a great day,” Salanitri said.
“He was just a bit unlucky the horse that got beaten. He was held up a little too long.
“We’re running into form and hopefully it continues on to Wednesday.”
Royal Island is a $13 chance with Girl Guide the $4.80 favourite ahead of the Darren Weir-trained Stellar Collision at $5.50.