Bullrush salutes for Matamata breeding powerhouse
7 October 2017, 3:10 p.m.
A change of environment has paid dividends for the royally bred Bullrush who notched his first victory on New Zealand soil with a commanding all-the-way win at Hastings.
The Waikato Stud-bred and raced half-brother by O’Reilly to the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes winner Sports Illustrated made his way back to local shores earlier in the year after commencing his racing career in Sydney.
|Bullrush Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
Unbeaten in his first five starts from the Rosehill stable of John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes, the six-year-old placed just once in five subsequent outings and hadn’t raced since finishing fifth in the Listed Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley.
The change of scenery to the beach-training operation of Moira and Kieran Murdoch has revitalised the statuesque gelding and it showed as he charged out of the barriers to take control of the rating 85 1200 metre contest from the jump.
Rider Leith Innes set a moderate tempo and it was obvious a long way from home that the combination would take some catching. Despite being chased hard by outsider Morse Code, Bullrush had enough petrol in the tank to score by half a length in 1.11.20 on the Dead 4 rated surface.
Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick was a happy man as he fielded questions after the race about the horse who is raced by the staff of the Matamata thoroughbred nursery.
“We’ve had a lot of fun with this horse and it’s really cool as we have all the staff involved, who race him with us,” he explained.
“There’s a few of us here today, although it’s a busy time of the year as we had eight foals last night, so it’s great to get a result like that.”
Chittick admitted the horse had proved to be a head scratcher after showing so much promise earlier in his career.
“He put them (wins) in a row earlier on but whatever it was he just seemed to switch off,” he said.
“We knew he had the ability so we thought we’d bring him home, give him to Moira and do a bit of work on the beach, just something different.
“Who knows what the future will bring but at least now we know he has some options and he has won a nice race.
“If he can show what he did in Australia in those early days we will have a lot of fun with him.” – NZ Racing Desk