Salsonic back on track to target VilliersFriday 15 December 2017
Jason Coyle believes a return to Randwick will help Salsonic's bid to cause an upset in the Group Two Villiers Stakes.
Randwick stages a Saturday meeting for the first time since October 28 with Warwick Farm trainer Coyle hoping the bigger track will aid Salsonic's attempt to topple in-form Godolphin five-year-old Interlocuter.
Salsonic opened his campaign at the previous meeting at Randwick and the four-year-old subsequently struggled in lead-up races at Rosehill where the configuration, track condition and tempo didn't suit.
"The tempo on Saturday looks good on paper but the biggest thing is going from Rosehill to Randwick," Coyle said.
"It's a massive difference going to a bigger track and as long as there's a genuine tempo throughout it gives everyone a chance."
Salsonic has been geared towards Saturday's 1600m-summer showpiece since a four-race autumn/winter campaign which culminated in victory in the Queensland Guineas.
Coyle said Salsonic had bounced back from a last-start fifth in the Group Three Festival Stakes (1500m) on December 2, when he lost momentum on a soft track and finished 1-3/4 lengths behind Testashadow.
"The rain came in and didn't suit him a hundred per cent. On top of the ground he probably finishes a little bit closer but I thought for a trial leading into your main race it was a good effort," Coyle said.
"Hopefully fourth-up and a similar time-frame to the last prep should mean he'll be on his game and cherry ripe for the mile."
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained duo Cabeza De Vaca and Dark Eyes are expected to set a useful pace from wide gates while Interlocuter looms as an obvious candidate to secure the exemption for the Group One Doncaster Mile in April.
Interlocuter is seeking to boost his record to seven wins from 10 career starts while Cabeza De Vaca, who also battled on soft ground in the Festival Stakes, is looking to bounce back after his five-win streak came to an end.
Coyle also hopes Randwick plays in the consistent Kawaikini's favour after she drew barrier nine in the Catanach's Handicap (1200m).
"It's an awkward gate but the tempo looks good and being at Randwick you should get a chance regardless of where you are in the run," he said.