I Am Sam |

March 6, 2010 by Post Team 

I Am Sam | pressure of trying to get I Am Sam into a second-straight Watpac Inter Dominion Final hasn’t told on Alan Tubbs. The Bacchus Marsh trainer has been able to laugh off some good-natured ribbing from his New South Wales hosts – the Fitzpatricks – as he prepares for tomorrow night’s (Saturday) second round of heats at Newcastle.

I Am Sam is drawn alongside raging series favourite Monkey King and needs to conjure a top-two finish to be guaranteed a spot in the $1 million final on Sunday, March 7.

“The boys up here were saying it was really good that we drew beside Monkey King because that’s as close as we’ll get to him,” Tubbs joked from the Fitzpatricks’ Cawdor base.

But it will be Tubbs who is giggling if I Am Sam again produces another bottler and gets into the final.

He made last year’s decider on the Gold Coast, when trained by Bill Dixon and Natalie Rasmussen, but finished 10th after winning his first heat and running third in the other.

He opened his 2010 account with a third placing to Atomic Ark and Changeover last Friday night after racing three-back the pegs and Tubbs suggested he wouldn’t mind being in the same spot this weekend.

I Am Sam will start from gate two in the 2030-metre qualifier, sandwiched between Monkey King (three) and Our Awesome Armbro (one).

“He’s really, really good and it is nice to be close to them and we may even take the option of popping in three-back the fence if Monkey King holds the front easy,” Tubbs said.

“I’d be happy to be in there. There’s no way Our Awesome Armbro won’t be still boxing on in the straight, so it could be a nice spot again.”

I Am Sam is engaged in tomorrow night’s third heat, to be run at 9.30pm, and it one of a number of Victorians who need to fire at Newcastle to secure a final berth.

Smoken Up and Tanabi Bromac also need to finish top two, but could scrape through with a third placing if things go their way, while nothing less than a win will suffice for Sammy Maguire, Cincinnati Kid, Few Good Men, Pacific Charm and Prince Benji.


Tomorrow night’s Sapling Stakes for two-year-old fillies could be a stunning advertisement for the Harness Racing Victoria-initiated ownership scheme between Raceapacer and Pacific Bloodstock.

The first of six horses syndicated in the program aimed at introducing owners into harness racing, Rhodium Castle, will make her debut in the $20,000 two-year-old feature at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.

The Andy Gath-trained blueblood is by Western Terror out of Nickel Castle, making her a half-sister to dual Vicbred Super Series champion Blatant Lie and Australasian Breeders Crown heroine Keppel Bay.

Gath isn’t expecting Rhodium Castle to measure up to the class of her older half-siblings, but thinks she has enough talent to warrant giving her owners the chance to see her debut at metropolitan level.

“This is a great opportunity for the syndicate to see how she goes in a quality race at our main venue,” he said.

“We’ve been really happy with her the last month. She is still only small and will need things to go her way, but we’re going in knowing she won’t disgrace herself.”

Rhodium Castle is raced by a team of 19 enthusiastic syndicate members and is one of three two-year-olds Raceapacer and Pacific Bloodstock have leased off prominent owner-breeder John Bagshaw.

David Murphy-trained Elsu filly Placid Castle and the Maree Caldow-trained Poetic Castle, a daughter of Grinfromeartoear, are the others that are leased.

The three horses owned by their respective syndicates are Mach Three colt Verendus, who is also with Caldow, the Amy Tubbs-trained Its Girl Power, a daughter of Christian Cullen, and a yet-to-be-named Artsplace filly in the care of Chris Alford.

Following the popularity of last year’s offering, Raceapacer and Pacific Bloodstock bought another three yearlings at this year’s Melbourne APG Sale that are up for syndication.

A Bettors Delight colt to be trained alongside Rhodium Castle has already been fully syndicated, but shares remain available in the other two.

A 10 percent share remains available in an Art Major filly to be trained by Caldow, while three 10 percent shares are left in an Elsu gelding to be trained by Lisa Miles.

Information on how to buy into the youngsters, or harness racing ownership in general, is available at


Rockstar filly Rocknrolla’s long-awaited return to the racetrack will take place at Menangle on Tuesday.

Last season’s Victorian 2YO Filly of the Year will resume from a seven-month spell in a heat of this year’s Australian Pacing Gold series.

It will be her first start since demolishing her rivals in the $100,000 Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final at Tabcorp Park on July 10.

The daughter of Grinfromeartoear suffered a back injury not long after, which ruled her out of the Tabcorp Australian Breeders Crown, but Smythes Creek trainer Emma Stewart said four searching trials have proven she’s over that.

“She hurt her back after the Sires (Vicbred) and we’ve taken our time with her just to make sure she’s right,” she said of the eight-time winner who is yet to miss a place in 10 starts.

“We would have liked to have had a couple of runs, but with the spell she had to have we didn’t have time. She’s had four solid trials, though, so fitness won’t be an issue and we’re happy enough to be going into it first up.”

Rocknrolla is in the first of three 1609-metre fillies’ heats, to be run at 1.25pm.

Beaten New South Wales Oaks favourite Stunin Girl is the star attraction in the second heat, which also contains last year’s winner Mach And Me, while talented Victorians Morgan Abby and Gem Of Reibey are in heat three.

Victoria’s top male two-year-old of last season, Renaissance Man, will also be in action at Menangle.

The star son of Art Major will take on Queensland star For A Reason in the first colts and geldings’ heat, at 2.05pm. For A Reason has the advantage of the inside barrier with Renaissance Man to start from gate five.

Its My Pleasure, Ole Master Lombo and Composed are the Victorians in heat two, but they’ve drawn the three outside barriers – eight, nine and 10.

The Kerryn Manning-trained-and-driven Remember El fared better in heat three, drawing the pole for his assignment against the pair that fought out last year’s final, Cuttheattitude and Chariot King.

Both $100,000 Group 1 APG finals will be run as part of the undercard at the bumper Watpac Inter Dominion Final program at Menangle on Sunday, March 7.

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