Gale optimistic American Me has shed virus

By Garrick Knight

Punters looking to back quality three-year-old American Me at Cambridge tonight can optimistically expect him to bounce back from two recent setbacks, according to his trainer.

The first was a case of sore feet after his start at Alexandra Park two runs back, in September, but most recently it was a virus that reared its head after his last start failure in the Sires Stakes heat at Cambridge on October 3.

“He didn’t finish off like he should have in the Sires heat,” said Doug Gale.

“He was never going to run in three the way they sprinted up the straight, but he still didn’t find the line and he was coughing afterwards.

“We had him vetted and it showed a respiratory virus.”

So, it was back home to Bulls for some treatment and recovery before resetting, the first step of which comes tonight.

Gale is happy, though says he won’t truly be satisfied until after the race.

“The last blood on him suggested he has recovered, and so has his work this week.

“But in my experience, they can eat well, work well, look well and when you take them to the races, they are found out in that last 200 metres.

“So, this is a test to see where we are at.”

He’s come up with the ace draw in a small but handy field and Gale thinks that’s the best thing for him. As for gate speed, he’s not quite sure what to expect.

“He’s never drawn better than about six so he’s never really been asked to come out hard. We will find out this week.

“If he’s not still effected by the virus, I would expect he’ll run in the money.”

Bookies opened American Me at $7, on the second line of betting behind Miracle Moose, Troubador and Flying Steps, who are all around the $3-$3.50 mark.

Gale hopes to be back in Auckland on New Years’ Eve for the rich Sales Series Final which indicates he does rate the horse above average.

“He has shown me enough that, when he matures, I think he could make an open class horse.

“He’s a typical American Ideal, though he hasn’t matured as quickly as some.”

Gale will haul two other stable runners the five hours north tonight, recent addition Classey Robin ($8.50) and one-win pacer Onedin Punter ($23).

Classey Robin only joined his stable last month but ran a placing at her new local track in Palmerston North.

“It didn’t surprise me on her work but I was scratching my head looking at her trial form in Canterbury.

“It said she ran last in all three of her trials before coming north, but she’s a bit better than that.”

This week she’s drawn the inside of the second row but follows out the exact same horse as she did last time – Yankee Dancer.

“If things go the same way she’ll probably end up three back on the markers. From there she’s a solid place chance I think.

“If she keeps improving, she has two or three wins in her this season.”

Gale says Onedin Punter is “more likely to win on the grass this season” but he was pleased with his last start effort at Palmerston North all the same.

“It wasn’t really his racing style and he stuck to his guns pretty well.”


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