A favourable barrier draw has helped two-year-old Salerno cause an upset at Randwick and stake his claim for the Magic Millions.
The Paul Perry-trained colt was well beaten on debut in the Breeders’ Plate earlier this month when he jumped from the outside gate.
From barrier two, Jeff Lloyd was able to steer Salerno ($20) to the rail and lead comfortably while the odds-on favourite Tempt Me Not ($1.80) cost herself a position when she knuckled at the barrier.
Tempt Me Not made up ground late but was still 1-1/4 lengths astern at the finish.
Perry’s son and foreman Shannon said the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast was the target.
“He drew wide in the Breeders’ Plate but getting to the rail today was a big advantage,” Perry said.
“He’s a Magic Millions horse and that’s where he’s headed.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a runner. Stratum was originally going there but he was doing so well we kept him for the Slipper.”
Stratum duly won the 2005 Golden Slipper.
Tempt Me Not knuckled over when the barrier opened then splayed her back legs, losing all chance to get to the lead.
“I thought she would lead,” jockey Josh Parr said.
“Plan B was to sit outside the leader but she ended up snookered among runners.
“She has done a good job to stand up and finish where she did.”