In the hit TV sitcom Seinfeld, unseen character Bob Sacamano was considered something of a “psycho” and it’s a fair bet the first two trainers of his equine namesake had similar thoughts.
Enter Sacamano’s third trainer, Hawkesbury’s Jason Attard, who has transformed the lightly-raced Sebring four-year-old into a racehorse – and a promising one at that.
So much so that the gelding lines up on his home track tomorrow chasing his second win from only three starts, in the Webb & Sons Class 1 Handicap (1600m).
“Sacamano was a problem child alright,” Attard said. “His previous two city trainers had endless dramas with him, hence the reason he did not race as a two and three-year-old.
“Eventually, he was gelded and his owners, Blueblood Thoroughbreds and their clients, asked me to take over his training.
“I began by throwing a stock saddle on him and riding him around our farm (Syd and Carolyn Kelly’s Reiby Croft Stud). I put him over a few hurdles and he also pushed a few cows around.
“Sacamano began to react like a normal racehorse. He still has a few issues at the barrier, but we’ve got him more on the straight and narrow than obviously he was.”
It is no coincidence Sacamano’s transformation has arisen at a time when his hard-working young trainer is enjoying easily the best season of his relatively brief career.
Attard has already trained 15 winners – including recent doubles at Newcastle and Scone – and also qualified Reiby Rampart for the Kelly’s for last Saturday’s $400,000 Provincial Championships Final at Royal Randwick.
He now has 18 horses in work and a few more in pre-training and is looking forward positively to the future with Sacamano.
The gelding was a strong-finishing second at $51 on debut in a Hawkesbury Maiden (1300m) on February 21, and then defied the bias in the straight simply because he was the best horse in the race in breaking through in a Scone Maiden over the same distance on 3 April.
“I was going to step him up to 1600m, but the Scone race looked ideal because it was for four-year-olds and upwards,” Attard explained.
“Also, the trip to Scone and back did him the world of good, and he has trained on well since.
“Thursday’s race is a step up in class, but he deserves to be there. He should run well.
“I think he will manage up to 2000m.” Koby Jennings has partnered Sacamano in both his runs and has the mount again tomorrow.
Attard’s 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and last spring’s Randwick Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) winner, Sons Of John lines up in another Group 3, Saturday’s JRA Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick.
“Both jockeys who have ridden him at his first two starts feel he is looking for a middle distance,” Attard said.
“Now that he is an older horse, I also consider he is looking for a bit more ground. Glyn Schofield will ride him on Saturday and he has only 54kg.”
Sacamano’s performance in the opening race at Hawkesbury could prove a solid pointer to the prospects later in the meeting of Calabash Express in the Micway Cold Solutions Maiden Plate (1500m).
Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Martin McInerney prepares the four-year-old, who chased home Sacamano (beaten just under a length) in that Scone race early last week. That was his first start since January, and his fifth second from only 10 starts. A breakthrough is certainly on the cards tomorrow, with Hugh Bowman an important booking for the gelding.
The rail is 5m out from the 1300m to the winning post and in the true position for the remainder for this final fixture prior to Hawkesbury’s big Saturday stand-alone day on April 29.
This morning’s track rating was a “Soft 7”, with a penetrometer reading of 5.37.
Selections RACE 1: SHOW’EM, Obscura, Mazaz. RACE 2: WORLDLY IMPACT, Identic, Charge Of Light. RACE 3: STONEBROOK, All Carisma, Luminescent. RACE 4: PATRIOT, High Dive, Coorg. RACE 5: BYE SEE, Doctor Zed, Lattimer. RACE 6: ROSETTAS WHEY, Pinchme, Pleased. RACE 7: CALABASH EXPRESS, Escapado, Saint Jerome. RACE 8: LOOKIN’ AT YOU, Classic Records, Crossley Hotshot. BEST BET: BYE SEE. BEST VALUE: ROSETTAS WHEY.