Sale meet used for spring preparations

David Braithwaite

TRAINERS will be taking their horses to Sale on Thursday with an eye on their spring campaigns.

The first meeting of the 2020-21 racing season will consist of eight races, with the first at 1pm.

Horses and jockeys will again have to contend with softer footing, with the Greenwattle track rated “heavy nine”.

Akaka Fall is a $2.50 favourite first up for race one, the three-year-old maiden plate over 1105m.

Race two, the four-year-old and over maiden plate over 1105m, includes horses which have been placed, and looking to step up for first win.

Aniceta, has placed in her two races, on soft and heavy tracks; Polly Design finished second at Moe last start over 1200m on a heavy track, and, in his only start nine weeks ago, Retell finished third on a good track at Sale.

Entered in race three, the 2219m maiden plate, Albenca Street came second in a 2100m race on the Ballarat synthetic track on July 30, while China Grove led a 2050m race at Wodonga last month before fading to finish third, so will be looking to finish stronger on Thursday. Silk Jacket could be hard to beat, having finished second or fourth in her past four starts.

Brazen Force placed third and fourth since being gelded, with connections hoping the step-up in distance will serve improve the horse’s fortune in race four, the 1611m maiden plate.

On The Tiles finished strongly his last start for Moe trainer Peter Gelagotis, but was too far back at the top of the straight to push for victory, finishing third.

In his only race start, Slipintothis finished third over 1400m on a soft track at Echuca last month.

Politicalinfluence showed speed down the straight to come from the back of the field to finished half a length behind the winner of 1500m race on the Ballarat synthetic track on July 30. It will be interesting to see if the gelding can do on a heavy grass track.

Generation Gap returns to Sale, the scene of his debut win last month in a 1200m event, for race five, the 1205m class one handicap. Another entrant is Willygood, trained at Kilmany by Cliff Murray, who won and came second at Moe in her two starts, both over similar distances and conditions to Thursday’s race.

In race six, 1728m benchmark 64 handicap, Unfair Dismissal is coming off a third placing a Sandown, Ajay’s Ace won during the most recent Sale meeting over 1600m, and Slick Back won his previous race three weeks ago at Pakenham.

For race seven, the 1105m benchmark 64 handicap, Sig Positano finished second over 1300m on a soft track at Echuca last month in his first race since being gelded. Before a 15-week spell, So Skilled had two seconds and a third during his previous preparation.

Race eight, the 1411m benchmark 64 handicap, is scheduled for 4.30pm. Diode is returning from a four-week break following second and third placings at Geelong and Cranbourne respectively.