Chicago Bull Back in Action
Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr has earmarked the Inter Dominion Championship in Melbourne in December and the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in January as the main targets for champion pacer Chicago Bull, who will resume racing after a spell in the $25,000 Christmas In July at the Beau Rivage Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
This will be Chicago Bull’s first appearance in a race for 119 days and the five-year-old showed that he is fit and ready to maintain his magnificent record with an effortless win in a 2550m standing-start trial at Byford on Sunday morning.
Driven by Gary Hall Jnr, Chicago Bull ambled to the front after 500m and coasted along in the lead before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.4sec to win by just under three lengths from M0-class performer Diamond Life.
Chicago Bull, who has amassed $1,503,524 from 31 wins and 15 placings from 51 starts, last raced when he scored an easy victory over Maxentius and Runrunjimmydunn in the Group 2 Four and Five-Year-Old Championship over 2130m at Gloucester Park 17 weeks ago. Earlier in the season Chicago Bull finished a grand second to Lazarus in the Inter Dominion Championship final at Gloucester Park in December and won the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in January.
Chicago Bull, who has raced over 2130m at Gloucester Park 19 times for 14 wins, two seconds, two thirds and one fourth, will start from the outside barrier in a field on nine on Friday night and should have no difficulty in defeating The Bucket List and Costa Del Magnifico.
The Bucket List, trained by Michael Brennan, will be having his 100th start in a race and he should be prominent after good efforts to be placed at five of his past six starts. He finished strongly from seventh at the bell to be second to Galactic Star last Friday week.
The Ross Olivieri-trained Costa Del Magnifico has not raced since mid-January and he looks set for a rewarding campaign after a smart effort when second to stablemate Motu Premier in a Byford trial last Sunday week.
The powerful Hall stable will have a big following on Friday night, with smart three-year-old Speed Man and talented five-year-old Chok Chai resuming after spells.
Speed Man has not appeared since finishing a close-up fifth behind stablemate King of Swing in the WA Derby on April 6 and he looks the winner of the Follow Gloucester Park on Facebook Pace in which he has drawn favourably at No. 2 on the front line and will clash with several in-form three-year-olds, including Fizzing, Our Corelli and Robb Stark.
Speed Man finished strongly and was not extended in finishing a head second to the pacemaker Muffins in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning.
Fizzing also will have many admirers at his third start in Australia. A winner of three races in New Zealand, the Mach Three colt raced without cover before winning at his WA debut, over 2190m at Northam before he again faced the breeze and finished second to Rocky The Outlaw at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week.
Ryan Warwick will drive Fizzing for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and he should have a comfortable run after starting from the inside of the back line on Friday night.
Justin Prentice trains and drives Our Corelli, who will start from barrier two on the back line. A versatile pacer, Our Corelli has won at three of his six starts, including wins at his most recent outings, at Pinjarra and Bunbury.
Five-year-old Chok Chai will start from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the 2130m Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace. A winner at ten of his 13 starts, Chok Chai will be attempting to extend his winning sequence to six.
He has good natural pace and is capable of overcoming the disadvantage of the wide draw in a race in which his chief rivals appear certain to be The Freedom Fighter (inside of the back line) and Thereugo (barrier three on the front line).
The Freedom Fighter, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is in top form and will be attempting to win his fourth race in a row.
Thereugo, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, is a brilliant frontrunner and he looks the likely leader. He started from 30m in a 2503m stand on Tuesday of last week and impressed when he sprinted home brilliantly to win from Swimbetweentheflags and Another Ayjay.