Trainer Greg Eurell says Sassy Salitage has gone from strength to strength early in her racing career and he is happy to give the unbeaten filly the chance to continue pressing her claims for the Group One Thousand Guineas.
Sassy Salitage backed up a maiden win on the Pakenham synthetic track on debut with a strong victory in her first city test at The Valley on August 24.
That win has earned Sassy Salitage her first shot in stakes company in Saturday’s Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at the same track.
“She has just gone from strength to strength from her trial at Pakenham to her win at Pakenham, then certainly it was a quantum leap to the race at Moonee Valley,” Eurell said.
“Against a couple of those horses that were Group winners, to do what she did last start and still look pretty raw at what she was doing, I really thought the run had a lot of merit.
“I’m really happy with the way she has come out of it. Certainly in her trackwork she has indicated she has benefited from the experience.”
Another strong showing on Saturday would mean Sassy Salitage continues on a path towards next month’s Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) for three-year-old fillies.
“We’ll keep going until she does put up the white flag but at his stage, if she gets through Saturday the natural progression would be to find a 1400-metre race for her and if she could still hang in there her fifth run would be to head towards the Guineas,” Eurell said.
Eurell expects Sassy Salitage to settle third or fourth from a wide draw on Saturday and with the right run believes she can be competitive again.
Sassy Salitage defeated the James Cummings-trained VRC Sires Produce Stakes winner La Tene last start.
This time it is the Cummings-trained Exhilarates who is the filly to beat after her brilliant first-up win in the Quezette Stakes.
Exhilarates’ stablemate Pin Sec is also among the main chances.
“They are probably the two, on paper, to beat so if we can round them up she has done a huge job and she is going somewhere,” Eurell said.