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Villiers Campaign Kick Off For Salsonic

By Ray Hickson Trainer Jason Coyle’s long term plan aimed at securing Group 2 winner Salsonic a start in next year’s Doncaster Mile kicks off at Randwick on Saturday. That plan is focused on winning the Villiers Stakes in about seven weeks time – and in doing so gaining an exemption into the Doncaster. Salsonic, last start Queensland Guineas winner in June, returns in the Robrick Lodge Filante Handicap (1400m) and Coyle said he’s ready to race but his racing style means he is not the type you can ever be confident about. “He's the sort of horse that always needs the circumstances to permit,’’ Coyle said. “He's had 15 starts for two wins. On his day he'll probably win most of those sort of races, but a few things have to go his way for that to happen. “The ideal goal is to get him to the Villiers so we want to see him perform well first-up with a light weight.’’ Salsonic's first-up run last campaign in the Hawkesbury Guineas Salsonic, yet to race on a heavy track but placed in soft ground, produced a cracking first-up run in the autumn finishing third in the Hawkesbury Guineas. Coyle said the gelding, a $21 chance for a first-up win, had a good break in Queensland following his Group 2 win and is hoping he can make the transition to open company. “We threw him in all the three-year-old races and performed well, now he has to improve from his three to four-year-old season,’’ he said. “He's always shown that raw natural ability, he just has a mind that plays a few games here and there. “He's never been a flash track worker but he's always had something about him. He doesn't leave anything on the track, don't worry about that.’’ The Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) is run at Randwick on December 16 and Coyle said Salsonic will reach that race either third or fourth-up. He said plans for last week’s impressive Nivison winner White Moss are yet to be locked in as he decides between a race in Melbourne during Cup week or staying home for the Listed $150,000 Ladies Day Cup (1400m) at Hawkesbury on November 9.

Meanwhile, Coyle has Assertin Mischief engaged in the $80,000 Schweppes Evening Star (1250m) at Canterbury on Friday night. The mare showed a return to form when resuming with a closing third at Wyong on October 12 after letting the side down in her three runs in the autumn. He scratched Assertin Mischief, who has won on a soft track, from Wednesday’s Warwick Farm meeting for this more restricted race. “If she can find that early form as she did first-up she's the sort of horse that we thought could progress to town,’’ Coyle said. “With the race for five-year-olds and up it takes out those up and coming three and four-year-olds.’’ Jockey Jess Taylor rides both Assertin Mischief and Salsonic for Coyle. Check out all the form and replays for Saturday's meeting at Royal Randwick

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