No-rush beachlife agreeing with top sprinter
They say life is better at the beach. That adage might well fit perfectly with rejuvenated sprinter Bullrush.
Bred by Garry Chittick and raced by Waikato Stud, O'Reilly six-year-old Bullrush won his first five races from his Sydney base but then his form suddenly went downhill, though nothing was found to be amiss with him.
|Bullrush Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
"It was all a bit confusing because he just lost form. Garry put it down to life in Sydney and that he simply lost interest, so that's how he came to us," said new trainer Moira Murdoch, who trains in partnership with her daughter Kieran, predominantly at Waiuku Beach.
"He's loving it down there. Beach training just seems to work the oracle, especially with those older guys and especially with sprinters - it just freshens them up.
"Sprinters are more likely to go off mentally because they are asked for that more extreme speed. A staying horse can go flat in the middle of a preparation and are able to overcome it but that doesn't seem to happen with sprinters."
Evidence that beach life had transformed Bullrush came with his wire-to-wire Hastings win last month, prompting the Murdochs to up the ante in Saturday's Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa.
"He's very well. He's in great order. He didn't get the nicest of draws and the weather doesn't look too crash-hot. He's unknown on a wet track that I know of. He had slow track form in Sydney but that's different to wet-track form in New Zealand. But the horse himself is in great health."
In-form jockey Samantha Collett takes the ride at 56.5kg from barrier eight in a 10-horse field that features the likes of Group One winner Heroic Valour, Ruud Not Too, Irish Moon, Seize The Moment and impressive last-start Trentham winner Ferrando.
Murdoch believes Bullrush has the necessary gate speed to negate the wide barrier draw.
"I don't know if he has to lead anyway,” she said. “There are some very good horses in there but that's good for us because he's in well at the weights."
Murdoch, who will also produce Sacred Rhythm and Tommyra in the BDC Group 1400m at Te Rapa, will consider Bullrush for the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day should he continue to progress to her satisfaction. - NZ Racing Desk