By Mark Brassel
Local trainer Sarah Murray-Leslie won’t be ‘selling’ her four-year-old Salesman short, despite describing the horse as a “wild one”.
“I can honestly say I’ve never had a galloper like him,” Murray-Leslie explained. “He is a funny type of horse that can throw in a curly one at times and is super moody, but has loads of ability.
“We work him at our Exeter property as you can’t take him to the track of a morning. But once he’s in a race he settles and his manners are fine.”
Salesman has raced 17 times for three wins and seven placings but reserves his best for his home track of Goulburn where he will contest Thursday’s $25,000 Fred Cooper Cup (1600m).
The gelding has raced there six times for a win and four placings, only just missing there two starts back when a flashing second to Balycastle Pegasus.
“After that run, I then took him to the city when he finished fifth in a Highway Handicap. I expected better from him but in saying that, I suppose I’ve set the bar quite high for him.
“He loves it at Goulburn – the girls (clerks of the course) are fantastic and they always know how to look after him going to the barriers. He is always on his best behaviour there.
“He will be dropping in grade in Thursday’s race so I’d like to think he will be right in the finish.
“I will need to put an apprentice on and claim with him as he’ll probably get a fair bit of weight from the handicappers; I’ve just got to find the right jockey.”
Murray-Leslie oversees a small boutique stable at Exeter with only a handful of horses in work but that hasn’t stopped her from winning six races from her past 16 starters.
“It’s a good time of year to be racing horses as there are a lot of options available to place the horses,” she said.
The trainer said she was delighted to win the open handicap a fortnight back at Bong Bong with Ain’t She a Dane before rain washed out the final two races.
“She’s a real local product so it was fantastic for Billy Owen (jockey) to win the race – we were all on her!”
Murray-Leslie ran Stone Cold at Queanbeyan on Friday with the gelding beaten a short neck by The Houso.
“Now, he’s a completely different animal – he’s a big gross fellow but very genuine and I will see how he pulls up but there is every chance I might back him up at Goulburn on Thursday.”
Last start Canberra winner Newtown Bluebag is also scheduled to run in the Fred Cooper Cup with local identities Lucy and Emma Longmire preparing the gelding.