New Zealand stayer Sampson will back up from his Ipswich Cup second into the Group Three Tattersall’s Cup at Eagle Farm.
Trained by Howie Matthews, the nine-year-old toughed it out to run 1-1/4 lengths behind Bergerac in Saturday’s Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m).
Matthews believes the effort will top him off for the 3000m of the Tatt’s Cup seven days later.
“I said to Mark (du Plessis) before he went out that I wanted him to use every ounce of his skill as a world class jockey to give the old boy his best chance at winning the race,” Matthews told NZ Racing Desk.
“We could see from the speed map that there wasn’t really a pacemaker in the race so I was keen for him to roll forward if he could.
“He (Sampson) was just a little tardily away so Mark did exactly the right thing by dropping him in and taking cover before asking him to come into the race when he did.
“He won the New Zealand St. Leger (2600m) at Trentham with a similar effort and he nearly pulled it off again on Saturday.”
Matthews said Sampson was thriving in the warm Queensland weather and there were several more options for him.
“He is loving it over here as it is like being at home in the summer,” he said.
“It is normally around 27 degrees and he has blossomed.
“He has certainly paid his way and there are numerous other opportunities for him that are coming up over the next few weeks.
“He looks an excellent chance in the Tatt’s Cup this weekend as the 3000 metres will be perfect for him while there is also the option of the Caloundra Cup a week later if he pulled up all right.
“A month later there is the Queensland Cup at Eagle Farm again so we are a little spoiled for choice if he can maintain his form and the handicapper treats him well.”