Naoum Looking For Salinger Group One Win

Queenslander Bill Naoum is hopeful Daunting Lad can fulfil a 27-year dream to win his first Group One race in the Salinger Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Daunting Lad was sent to Melbourne trainer Danny O'Brien's stables at the start of the spring with one goal - to win a Group One feature before he heads to stud next year.

"If he can win the Salinger his value as a sire is going to skyrocket," Naoum said.

Naoum had previously prepared Daunting Lad throughout his career which has yielded eight wins from 23 starts.

The five-year-old has not started since finishing fifth to Spirit Of Tara in the Listed Tatt's Mile (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June which might seem a little inferior to what looms in the Salinger.

But Daunting Lad, who has drawn barrier two in the Salinger and will be ridden by Stephen Baster, was one of the best backed runners in many years in the $1 million Stradbroke Hcp (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June.

Daunting Lad only managed to finish 12th to La Montagna but it could easily have been a different story had the heavens not opened up before the race.

"I thought he could win the Stradbroke after he got a perfect barrier but then it rained on the day and the last place we wanted to be then was near the fence," Naoum said.

"I was initially going to train him in Melbourne myself but I was too busy with the other horses at home so I sent him to Danny.

"The horse trialled well in Melbourne on Tuesday and when I rang Danny he was very excited.

"Danny could have had two or three runners in this race himself but he decided to just go with Daunting Lad and he's very confident he'll run a big race."

Naoum plans to syndicate Daunting Lad as a sire next season but in the meantime he wants a Group One next to his name.

"I might give him another run down there after the Salinger and then he'll come home for the triple crown races at Doomben next month," Naoum said.

"I'm also thinking of sending him to Sydney for the autumn and then he'll go back to Brisbane for the winter carnival.

"Hopefully after all that he'll go to stud as a Group One winner."

Naoum's best training feat in a Group One race was with Gladful who finished fifth to Prince Trialia in the 1990 Doomben 10,000.

"I've been training a long time but I've only had a handful of runners in Group One races," Naoum said.

"My best effort in a Group One was with Gladful. He won four straight in his preparation before he ran fifth in the Doomben 10,000."

By Glenn Davis - AAPRacing

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