A horse nicknamed ‘Elmo’ due to his fondness of a good tickle has made the dreams of a small-time breeder who has a big-time passion for the industry.
I Am Someone has quickly graduated from a Horsham maiden straight into winning at Morphettville on SA Derby Day much to the excitement of his Melbourne-based breeder Brad Scott.
The three-year-old son of Ridgeview Park sire Onemorenomore gave Brad, his co-owners and Horsham trainer Paul Preusker a big thrill on Saturday particularly considering the path the gelding had taken to get there.
In career spanning just four races, the gelding has been the runner-up in his first two starts followed by the maiden win at his home track and now the city win.
“It is incredible really, Elmo’s last start was a win at Horsham and now, here we are winning in Adelaide on one of their biggest days!” Brad said.
“I can’t thank everyone enough that has been part of the journey.”
And some journey it has been since he arrived at Avenel farm Shadow Hill Thoroughbreds as a weanling.
Brad credits Shadow Hill’s Kim Alderton with growing confidence in the young horse and ensuring he was ready for a racing career.
“Kim did a massive job for us. When he arrived at the farm as a late weanling, Elmo really needed some extra TLC,” Brad explained.
“He was very nervy and required constant handling to develop his trust. Kim did a fabulous job, she taught him his manners and gave him the grounding to be a successful racehorse.”
He says Horsham trainer Paul Preusker has also done a brilliant job particularly in being patient as he broke in the tricky galloper.
“I wanted a country trainer for Elmo’s (older) half-brother Aldo’s Gold and after being introduced to Paul through a mutual friend, we have become great mates,” Brad said.
“I really trust Paul as he is a phenomenal horseman. He just took Elmo back to basics, getting him out trail riding, enjoying being under saddle and learning to relax before he hit the track. He cleverly developed his confidence to succeed.”
“I have been fortunate to meet some great people through horses, those who love the animal and want the best for them. Whitey, Elmo’s strapper was thrilled for me, as was his jockey Declan Bates and I made sure I shouted the stable a drink to say thanks.”
The thoroughbred bug bit Scott through his father who was a successful breeder having bred the New Zealand Group 3 winning (and Group 1 placed) mare High Grove (Sir Tristram).
“I’m involved thanks to dad, and he is so happy for me to see my nine-year-plan come to fruition. He made me aware that’s it’s a tough game, and that there are financial sacrifices.”
With the breeding season edging closer, Brad now has the task carefully selecting a stallion partner for Elmo’s dam Vanity Sky (Mossman).
“I read and learn about breeding and pedigrees for over an hour a day, I just love it,” Brad said.
“I purchased Elmo’s dam over in WA when I was based there for work through John Chalmers Bloodstock, and when I returned to Victoria, I had to bring her home with me.
“She is a beautiful broodmare and has become a great producer, having now foaled two brilliant Stryker colts that I can’t fault on type. She is now in foal to Wyndholm Park’s Rebel Raider, and although I haven’t decided where she will go this year, I am keen on the High Chaparral cross.”
Meanwhile I Am Someone has – not unexpectedly – received attention from Hong Kong buyers after his impressive win.
“It’s a hard decision to make, but I have to stay realistic and consider the options. You don’t get a horse as good as this every day. He is the best horse I have had and the best in Paul’s stable so it would be terribly hard to let him go.”
If Horsham is not swapped for Honkers, then Brad expects I Am Someone will line up in city class sprint races over coming weeks with the longer-term view of a crack at spring carnival features.
And, if all works out, then everyone will certainly know that the tickle-friendly horse Is Someone!