The Mark Riley-trained galloper Gold Salute is on track for a spring racing stint that will culminate with a run in the $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) at the closing Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting.
Six-year-old Testa Rossa gelding Gold Salute ran a gallant third to All American and Cox Plate winner So You Think in the Emirates Stakes last year and will again target the time-honoured ‘mile’ race this November.
Following their promising Emirate Stakes performance, Gold Salute then had an uninspired run in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot, finishing a well-beaten 14th after a long and testing campaign before being sent to the paddock.
Gold Salute returns to the track after his extended spell on Wednesday for a 900m hit out at Mornington as he prepares for his first-up start at Moonee Valley over 1000m on August 21.
Riley will then follow a similar programme to last year and start Gold Salute in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 4, followed by the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 12.
Both races were part of Gold Salute’s campaign last year, the classy runner narrowly beaten by Swift Alliance in the Bobbie Lewis Quality before ruining his chance in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes when he dislodged jockey Mark Pegus at the start and was ruled a non-starter.
Riley will attempt to earn Gold Salute an invitation to the Hong Kong through two elite level spring features, the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 9 and then the esteemed Emirates Stakes.
If all goes to plan during his Australian Group 1 spring schedule, Gold Salute will then head overseas for an international campaign with the esteemed Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin in December as his final aspiration.
To date Gold Salute has won eight of his 25 career starts earning in excess of $552,000 in prizemoney.
Held on Saturday November 6, Emirates Stakes Day marks the end of the annual four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington and features four other group status races including the $500,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).
The prestigious 2010 Melbourne Cup Carnival kicks off on Saturday October 30 with Victoria Derby Day, followed by the day racing fans and punters around Australia anticipate every year, Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday November 2.