Chicago Bull is poised for a comeback
By Adam Hamilton
JUST over six month’s since his racing career came crashing down, superstar pacer Chicago Bull is poised for a comeback at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
And that comeback is built around an Auckland Inter Dominion raid at the end of the year.
Now all trainer Gary Hall Sr needs is enough acceptors for Friday night’s race to go-ahead.
“He’s as ready to go as I can have him. He really needs racing now, so I hope they have enough runners to run the race. I’d like to think they Chicago Bull racing,” he said.
It was October 27 last year, the day after Chicago Bull stormed into NZ Cup favouritism after a sparkling Alexandra Park win, when everything went wrong.
He had a shock reaction to a treatment, flipped and broke six vertebrae in his wither. His future was in complete limbo because the injury was so rare and freakish.
“I did so much reading about it and it was basically between six months and two years for recovery, but the longer stints were for horses who get ridden. It’s an injury some gallopers do when they burrow under the starting gates, but they might break two or three verterbrae, not eight,” Hall Sr said.
“He fractured six of them and totally displaced two of them. He’s got a hole in the where they were.
“All that said, he stayed in NZ for six weeks after the accident, came back here in mid-December and hasn’t had a moment of soreness.
“If there’s an upside to the time out, it’s been the fact he’s grown a bit. We’ve let his hopples out an inch, so he’s not quite as tiny as he was.”
Chicago Bull convinced Hall Sr he was ready to race when he easily beat buzz stablemate Ideal Liner in a recent workout and that horse then bolted in first-up at Gloucester Park last week.
“We think Ideal Liner is going places and will be a WA Pacing Cup horse, so he’s a good measuring stick. ‘Bully’ beat him quite easily,” he said.
“He’s still big and will take a couple of runs to be primed, but he needs to come back now otherwise he’ll have too long out. He can have a campaign now, a bit of a let-up, then build to the Inter Dominion.
“I’ve got some convincing to do with the owners on the Inter Dominion as they’re scarred by what happened in Auckland last year, but he’ll be there. It’s a great series for him and he showed how well he handled the track.”
In other stable news, Hall Sr only holds a faint hope of upsetting WA Oaks big gun Dracarys – trained by Justin Prentice and owned by Trevor Casey – in the Group 1 feature with Balcatherine on Friday night.
“She’s fast enough to test the favourite with a perfect trip, but she’ll need it. It’s been a rush to get her ready. I think she’ll be better after a spell and when I bring her up my way. Dracarys is very good and has been specifically set for it,” he said.
“I’ll also have King Of Swing in again this week. I was fairly happy with his first-up win last week, but I’d like to have seen him put them away a lot easier. Maybe it was just a first-up thing. Jury’s out for mine until I see him again this week.”
Meanwhile, Ideal Liner has the week off and will continue his march through the grades the week after.
“He’s seriously one to follow. I think he’ll whiz through the classes and is the real deal,” Hall Sr said.