By Duane Ranger
Brilliant Logan Village trainer, Jack Butler, had a sneaky suspicion that Sams The Master could break the Redcliffe track record on Saturday – especially if the 7-year-old got to the front from gate four.
And that he did. The son of Tell All duelled with Secret Jack early before claiming the lead 200m into 1,780 metre mobile.
Brendan Barnes then let Sams The Master bowl along in front setting his own terms with 29,2, 30.1, 27.8, and 28.4 sectionals.
“Just the way he’s come this time in I thought he might be hard to catch in front. I thought if he was allowed to ‘free-roll’ in front then the track record might be a chance,” Butler said.
Going down the back the last time ‘Sam’ put a six-metre gap on his opponents and then swinging for home he was out by 10m. He then flexed his muscles to win by 6.6m and 9m respectively from the Grant Dixon stablemates, Eleniark and Italian Delight.
Sams The Master stopped the clock in 2:06.5 setting a new mile rate record of 1:54.4. That was 0.6 of a second faster than Tightrope’s previous record set on July 30, 2016.
He was the $2.80 second favourite after winning seven days earlier at Albion Park by one metre, with a 1:55.9 mile rate.
Barnes had nothing but praise for Butler immediately after ‘Sam’s 24th win in 55 starts.
“Jack has done a lot of individual work with him in the last month and has really worked him out and found the key to his success.
“It’s just so good to have him back to somewhere near his best, because it’s taken a lot of work to get him where he is now. He’s just got better with each run. That was a top training performance,” Barnes said.
“Jack actually told me earlier in the week the horse was a small hope of running a track record if he got to the front. He knows his stuff,” he added.
To add further merit to his track record was Sam’s The Master’s first look at Redcliffe Paceway.
Butler didn’t think that would trip him up.
“He raced for Nathan Turnbull in New South Wales and then Jess Tubbs in Victoria on smaller tracks like Bathurst, Young and Mildura, so he’s pretty adaptable.
“He’s always had potential. He was nominated for the Interdominions down there a couple of years ago. I wasn’t surprised by Saturday’s run because I know the amount of ability he has,” Butler said.
The 43-year-old said he would make his mind up early this week whether he would line ‘Sam’ up again at Redcliffe this Saturday night.
“Today (Sunday) he was bucking his brand off. I’ll just see how he progresses. He will prefer the mile this week I think rather than the longer distance the following Saturday.”
Sams The Master has had 11 runs in Queensland since making his Butler debut in June. Since then he has recorded three wins, a second and two thirds.
“He’s coming together nicely. The Summer Carnival is now the next aim, and then we will assess his future after that,” Butler said.
Sams The Master has now banked $228,612 in stakes since making his winning debut at Bathurst back on December 19, 2014.
He is owned by Kriden Investments Limited, and was bred by K.J. and N. Hayes.
Meanwhile Redcliffe Paceway president, Bernie Ring, was delighted with the way the track had adapted from its $300,000 upgrade.
The unique 800-metre track with the three bends, was closed for 50 days from August 27, and Ring predicted in September that it would result in faster times.
“This was the first time the track has been resurfaced in 10 years, and tonight’s track record is proof that track workers did a fantastic job.
“The crusher dust has settled now and the recent rain has also helped it a lot. It’s recovered real well. There were a lot of sub 55 and 57 mile rates tonight. It’s a real credit to the staff who work very hard,” Ring stressed.