It’s been a long wait for American Rocker but she’s finally ready to turn up the volume

It’s fair to say trainer Ray Green expected American Rocker to be on the racetrack and winning long before now.

That’s why he snapped up a share himself when Lincoln Farms took in partners on the American Ideal filly.

But 17 months after American Rocker won a workout at first time of asking, she finally lines up at the races - in the fifth event at Cambridge on Thursday night.

It’s a night Green, Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street, their business manager Ian Middleton, the nine-women Excell syndicate, David Turner and Daphne Jones have waited a while for.

American Rocker showed ability right from the get-go. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.American Rocker showed ability right from the get-go. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.And in what Green describes as “not a great field” he believes the filly is very capable of winning.

American Rocker, who is out of the four-race winner Sabellian, cost just $22,500 at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Christchurch yearling sale in 2021 but was one of the most precocious of her year and made Green’s top early group when put into training.

“She’s got the ability all right,” Green said. “That’s why I went in on her myself, she looked so good early on.

“But she developed a few problems along the way, and has had a few seasonal problems too.

“She seems to be getting better and better now and is trialling well.”

After three workouts this prep, and nine in all, American Rocker won her 2050 metre qualifying trial at Pukekohe last Friday like an early winner.

Taken straight to the front by driver Andre Poutama, she scored comfortably in 2:38.2, one tenth of a second faster than her talented stablemate Beaudiene Rocknroll clocked later in the day. It represented a mile rate of 2:04.1, with closing sectionals of 58.3 and 27.9.

On Thursday night, from gate three, in a field mostly devoid of form, Poutama could look to adopt the same tactics.

Bettor Cheer scored all the way for Zachary Butcher last week. PHOTO: Chanelle Lawson.Bettor Cheer scored all the way for Zachary Butcher last week. PHOTO: Chanelle Lawson.Front-running tactics got Bettor Cheer home last week but the three-year-old will find it much harder in the eighth race, drawn the second row and up in grade.

“Zac (Butcher) gave him the best possible trip last week, as he likes to roll along a bit and take it to them. He just lacks a bit of speed.

“But he steps up in class and from three the second row we won’t be holding our breath.”

Captain Nemo’s four-year-old half brother Toe The Line (race four) proved a surprise packet last week, placing on debut.

“I wasn’t expecting much at all so I was pleasantly surprised,” Green said.

“You couldn’t fault what he did and I hope he goes as well again.”

Toe The Line enjoyed an economical trip three deep and, despite being held up on the home turn, finished fast to be beaten only three-quarters of a length by the heavily punted Denny.

He moves one further out to five on the gate on Thursday night.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Whales Harness