Bullish Gold shows big guns trick or two with an exciting trial
While most eyes were on high-class milers Armada and Sight Winner, emerging four-year-old Bullish Gold showed just how much he has benefited from patient handling by scoring an impressive win down the straight 1,000m course at Tuesday's barrier trials.
With Zac Purton standing in for the sidelined Marco Chui Kwan-lai, Bullish Gold sported sidewinkers and gave a strong display of sprinting to defeat straight track specialist Galbraith by a short head, clocking the fastest time of the morning for the distance (57.89 seconds).
Armada, handled by Douglas Whyte, finished an encouraging third, 23/4 lengths away, with Packing Buddy fourth and upset Champions Mile victor Sight Winner fifth.
With his rating of 87, Bullish Gold is graded in the second half of Class Two, but he showed the Class One horses a trick or two, travelling nicely throughout and hitting the line with relish.
Bullish Gold has not raced since Derby day (March 22) when he scored over 1,200m for Matthew Chadwick. That was his first start in sidewinkers and he seemed to race with greater confidence in the new equipment.
Trainer David Hall gave Bullish Gold an easy time after that breakthrough win, which came at the sixth time of asking. It was more like what we had earlier expected of Bullish Gold, a Belong To Me gelding who won three of six during his time in Australia (where he was known as Green Mankini and prepared by John White).
Galbraith is a six-year-old but, because of injuries, his career has been limited to just 13 starts. He has won three, all down the Sha Tin straight.
When Galbraith resumed from a break of more than 13 months on May 3, he finished last of 14 runners behind Lucky Red. Stewards inquired into the poor performance and one of the club's veterinary surgeons diagnosed him as being lame in one hind leg the following morning.
This performance showed trainer Andreas Schutz has Galbraith going well again. To be so narrowly beaten in fast time while always travelling well shows there is another win in the son of Anabaa.
Armada trialled strongly. The chestnut looked big and strong and faced the breeze all the way in mid division. Whyte didn't knock him around and it was a piece of work that indicates Armada has finally started to come back to form.
Sight Winner got very hot before the trial and ran a bit too freely in the initial stages. When he ran out of puff, Brett Prebble did not knock him around. Both Sight Winner and Armada are headed for the Yasuda Kinen, Japan's richest mile race, at Tokyo racecourse on June 7.