Bull-ish about NZ Cup
By Adam Hamilton
Trainer Gary Hall Sr wants to set the record straight, on two fronts,
Firstly, he’s aware of varying reports about NZ Cup plans with his stable star Chicago Bull. Bottom he’ll be there unless something unexpected happens between now and November.
Secondly, the driving force behind the planned Addington raid is itch left to scratch after three aborted trips across with Hall Sr’s former champion pacer Im Themightyquinn.
“No doubt, that’s part of the fire in the belly. The fact I’d set Quinny for race so many times only to have things go wrong,” he said.
“I’ve been to the NZ Cup, it’s such a great event and raceday, and I’d always wanted to be part of it. Quinny would’ve been the perfect horse, but this little guy will give it a real shake if we can get him there at his top.
“It’s just about arranging the travel. I want to get across early to have a lead-up run, they all say it’s crucial.
“So it’s likely I’ll go the Victoria Cup at Melton a month before the NZ Cup then go across to Christchurch from there.”
It’s pretty clear. This is no “possible” trip. It’s happening unless anything derails.
Judging by Chicago Bull’s arrogant first-up win at Gloucester Park last Friday night, he’s come back as well as ever.
And Hall Sr estimated he was “only about 75 per cent” wound-up.
Chicago Bull settled back, buzzed around the field early to take the lead, and cruised home to win as he liked, albeit against B-graders.
“It’s just the sort of run we hoped for first-up. He’s come through it well,” Hall Sr said.
“I got a call last night asking if I’d whiz him across to Brisbane for the Blacks A Fake this week after all the drama of the Sunshine Sprint, but that’s a definite no. He’s not ready and it’s not part of the plan.
“There are no feature races here for him. He’ll just go through the free-for-alls, there’s another one next Friday, then we’ll work out if the Victoria Cup fits the travel plans to get him to NZ.”
The inevitable comparisons come between Chicago Bull and Imthemightyquinn, but Hall Sr shuts them down pretty quickly.
“Put it this way, when I took Quinny to the races I expected to win most of the time, with this little guy I hope to win,” he said.
“But, what I will say is that Chicago Bull is still on the up and he’s done more at this stage of his career than Quinny had done so it’s exciting to see where he can end up.”