Equine flu 'a blessing for Redragtoabull'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 November, 2008, 12:00am

One would probably search high and low in Australia without finding a good word for the equine influenza that crippled racing there just over a year ago, but look no further than Darren Beadman and John Moore for the silver lining at this end of the world.

Redragtoabull had been an impressive two-year-old winner in June last year at his only Sydney run, qualifying him for racing in Hong Kong, and he was already in quarantine for export when equine influenza (EI) struck last August, leaving Moore no option but to send the colt back to the farm and wait.

'EI paid dividends because it gave him some time to strengthen,' he said after the Red Ransom four-year-old made it two wins from four starts, and Beadman expanded even further on the benefits of the extra time.

'He's going the right way now but could easily have gone the other way - he's a big colt and, when he first came here, he was kicking up in the mornings and frankly being a bit of a pig. I'm glad he didn't get here any earlier,' he said.

'He always showed promise but in the beginning he always wanted to be at the winning post in the first 200m.'

Yesterday's race proved a good test for just where Redragtoabull's attitude stands, because Beadman and Moore decided to have him prominent in a race that lacked speed.

'He has got good gate speed himself so I asked Darren to jump out and be with the lead, then see what was happening,' said Moore.

'The race demanded different tactics but the horse is settling now and was able to handle it.'

After sitting further back and working home to win in the final stages last start, yesterday's race gave Redragtoabull a new experience in being more forward, and Beadman believes it is all part of what is looking a sharp learning curve.

'We took the punt riding him like that and I worried that if I rode too pretty he'd get pulling in a slow pace,' he said.

'He's had a different experience each time he's gone out. It was good to be out in front for a fair way today and he didn't shirk or ease up. He's learning all the time.'