Chicago Bull Excites Hall
“That was probably his best run since he was injured almost two years ago,” said jubilant reinsman Gary Hall Jnr after driving the rising eight-year-old champion Chicago Bull to a runaway victory in the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Chicago Bull began speedily from barrier four but was unable to wrest the lead from Galactic Star and was forced to work in the breeze before getting to the front 550m from home and then racing away to win by three and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Bletchley Park.
“I know how good he is and how good he has been in the past,” said Hall. “And this is the first time since his injury that he has excited me. He felt tonight like he did before the injury.
“It’s pretty exciting. I thought he could win, sitting in the breeze. To me, Chicago Bull now feels more switched on and better in the breeze than in front. In front, I’ve got to keep at him all the time to let him know that we’ve got to get going. But that’s not saying I wouldn’t be happy to be the leader.”
Chicago Bull’s great career was in doubt in Auckland in October 2018 when he flipped over backwards when being treated and fell on his back, suffering six vertebrae in his wither.
This freak accident happened the day after Chicago Bull gave a magnificent performance to win a 2200m standing-start event at Alexandra Park when he galloped from the back mark of 20m and settled down 15 lengths from the leader Jack’s Legend before dashing forward to move to the breeze with just over a lap to travel. Chicago Bull went on to win by two and a half lengths from Jack’s Legend, rating 1.57.7, with a final 800m of 54.2sec.
Hall said that Chicago Bull’s effort seven starts ago, when he beat Handsandwheels by a short half-head over 2536m had the effect of sharpening him up.
“He sat outside Handandwheels and went to the line on empty and just got up,” he said. “That really sharpened him up and really switched him on, and I felt his two runs after that were really good.
“Last week, when Chicago Bull was chasing Shockwave and I really had to drive him out to the line obviously worked again and switched him on. He was sharpened up again when he worked on the track on Wednesday.”
Chicago Bull was off the scene for seven months after his injury and since resuming he has had 23 starts for 15 wins, six seconds, one third and one fourth placing. He now has had 84 starts for 55 wins and 23 placings for earnings of $1,938,531 and Hall is looking forward keenly to the champion contesting the Fremantle Cup and WA pacing Cup early next year against horses of the calibre of Shockwave, Mighty Conqueror and Galactic Star.
Chicago Bull’s victory on Friday night was his 50th at Gloucester Park and his third in a Navy Cup. It also gave Hall his fifth success in the Navy Cup and champion trainer Gary Hall Snr a record seventh win in the race.
Chicago Bull’s victory gave Hall jnr the first leg of a treble. He also was successful with Sir Galahad and Blissfullabbey.
The injury-plagued Sir Galahad ($3.60) enjoyed the perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position before charging home to score an easy victory over Rakasinc ($5.50) and the pacemaker Lord Rosco ($3.60) in the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace. Six-year-old Sir Galahad has raced only 17 times for ten wins, four placings and $86,261 in stakes.
This gave Gary Hall Snr the third leg of a treble, following the wins of Chicago Bull and Eloquent Mach. Hall watched his runners from his home where he is recovering from surgery on Thursday night to cure problems caused by a crushed nerve at the rear of his neck.
Blissfullabbey, part-owned and trained by Chris Willis, was a $2.40 chance from barrier No. 1 in the Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace and she maintained her excellent form with an all-the-way victory.
Blissfullabbey was not challenged in the lead and enjoyed leisurely opening quarters of the final mile in 32sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 27.8sec. and holding on to defeat $11 chance Euphoric Moment by a nose after she had trailed the pacemaker throughout.