By Ray Hickson
Trainer Angela Davies is sweating on an improving surface at Warwick Farm on Wednesday for her promising mare Salina Dreaming to kick off a campaign that could eventually see her earn a shot at black type.
The four-year-old has won four of her eight starts and she kicked off her previous preparation with a win over The Face who trained on to win in town and was Group 3 placed in the summer.
Davies said Salina Dreaming came off second best in very heavy ground at her only other run in her summer campaign so it’s important that the track is in good shape for the Vinery Stud Handicap (1100m).
“She carves her legs up when she gets into that shifty going and it takes a long time to get the scars to heal and if she touches them it can be painful,’’ Davies said.
“Once it gets shifty she’s in big trouble, once the tracks are chopped up it’s absolutely no good for her.
“But she’s in good form and she’s trained up well.”
Salina Dreaming, $8 with TAB, generally races handy and has drawn eight in the 12 horse field. That poses a small concern for Davies who is wary of the Bjorn Baker duo of Belluci Babe and Ocean Emperor that are drawn to get perfect runs and cause her mare some trouble.
“You’re certainly not going to go back from there,’’ she said.
“She’ll have to be ridden for luck from there and might have to do it a little bit hard.”
It’s been a smooth build up for Salina Dreaming to her return, though it’s a week later than Davies originally planned due to the recent rain event, with two solid barrier trials.
She won the first on a good track then finished a close second at Newcastle last week on a soft 7.
Davies is confident Salina Dreaming won’t stay in midweek company for too long.
“I just hope she keeps taking the next step and if she does I’d love to find a fillies and mares race to get some black type for her future,’’ she said.
“If we can find the right race on the right track, even if she doesn’t win (Wednesday), I think she has a good amount of talent and she is capable of reaching Listed level.”
Meanwhile reigning Polytrack Provincial Championships winner Through The Cracks is about four weeks from returning to Davies’ Gosford stable after an injury setback cost him an autumn campaign.
Salina Dreaming runs second in a trial at Newcastle on March 25
The six-year-old hasn’t raced since he ran a game fourth in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes on December 12 having pulled a ligament in his knee.
“Hopefully it’s only a hiccup, I’m looking forward to him returning,’’ she said.
“He was a bit unsettled on the water walker so he’s obviously been playing up and ended up injuring himself.
“He looks a million dollars, he‘s bigger and stronger and hopefully he’ll be back to form when he’s next at the races.’’