American Me vying for gold
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
American Me took out the first qualifying race for the Cambridge Gold Cup and he will be vying for a clean sweep of the heats at Cambridge on Thursday when he lines-up in the Farrier Supplies Cambridge Gold Cup (Qual) Handicap Pace (2700m).
The son of American Ideal has won his last two races, including the Otaki Cup (2000m), and trainer Doug Gale believes he can make it three wins on-end on Thursday.
While American Me wasn’t in great form prior to those wins, Gale said he was going through a growth spurt during the Spring.
“I have been happy with his last couple of runs,” he said. “Through the spring he went through a bit of a growth phase, and perhaps weakened off a bit.
“From Christmas onwards he seemed to strengthen up again and settle down, and his form has accordingly improved.
“All credit to his owners, they have been patient with him. He didn’t strengthen as quickly as I thought he would as a four-year-old, but he is just starting to now, and it’s showing in his races.
“His last two races he has done a reasonable amount of work and has found the line okay.”
American Me will start from behind the 20m tapes and Gale expects him to put in another good showing prior to the Gold Cup at Cambridge on Waitangi Day.
“I expect him to race well again,” he said. “He seems bright, he had come through the race a fortnight ago fine and I have been happy with his work.
“Cambridge is a funny track, you can’t be too far off them turning for home, but as long as things don’t go against him, I would expect him to be thereabouts at the finish.”
While the Cambridge Gold Cup is his ultimate aim on February 6, Gale said he would like to take his charge north to Alexandra Park in the near future in his strengthened state.
“The intention would be to head back to Auckland after the Cambridge Gold Cup,” Gale said.
“As a two and three-year-old he didn’t handle the right-handed way of going very well.
“The hope would be that now he has strengthened up a bit he will negotiate the bends a bit better.”
Gale will also line-up Classey Robin in the CR Team Thanks Ashleigh Hopping! Mobile Pace (2700m).
The daughter of Art Major has placed in her last two starts and Gale is hoping for an elusive victory from gate two on Thursday.
“She is a very honest little mare that tries hard and she has got a handy draw,” Gale said.
“I think if she is handy turning for home, she should be right in the finish.”