YEARLING SALES GRADUATE LIKELY OPTION
Raging Bull, untroubled to qualify first-up in a smart 2:30.2 for the mobile 2000m at Rangiora last Thursday, February 24, is likely to be set for a $40,000 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearlng Sales 2YO Graduate at Addington on March 18.
“I was a little bit tempted to put him on the bus to go Auckland on Saturday for a Northern Graduate race there next Friday, because I don’t think the good one of Mark Purdon’s is eligible because he’s Victorian bred horse, but I resisted,” said trainer Cran Dalgety.
“I thought I had to restrain myself a bit because he’s talented enough to go but probably mentally not ready,” he said.
Photo: Raging Bull, a Christian Cullen colt from San Sophia (p2, TT, 1:52.6, five USA wins), the latter being a sister to former champion USA mare Galleria.
Raging Bull, a $85,000 NZ Premier Yearling Sales purchase 12 months ago, nosed out subsequent NZ Kindergarten Stakes winner Orl Black in his first workout run at Ashburton a week earlier, the leaders running their last 800m in 54.8s.
“With a Sires Stakes Southern Graduate here at Addington in three weeks, and being on his own pad here, I thought I’ll hold myself back,” Cran said.
Cran says there is little now between Raging Bull and Orl Black.
“Orl Black has had the edge on him the last six-eight weeks, but now they’ve come even.”
“He (Raging Bull) feels like he’ll take the distance. Being a Christian Cullen they can normally be short, speedy and miley, but he feels like he’ll travel on a bit more.”
“He’s got enormous page (pedigree). His mother is a sister to the great Artsplace mare Galleria (1:49.2), who retired the richest mare of all time winning $US1.8 million, so he’s fulfilling what the page says he’s meant to be.”
After easing back early from a wide gate, Raging Bull improved mid-trial and won his qualifier by 2 1/4 lengths, rating 2:00.8 for the full 2000m, running his last 800m in 58s and final 400m in 29s.
“He did it nice,” Cran said.
Open class pacer Bettor’s Strike continued his Inter Dominion countdown with a pleasing neck second to Bondy, with Monkey King 1 1/2 lengths back third in a three horse fast class trial over the mobile 2600m.
Bondy led up and paced the 2600m in 3:21.8, quickening over his last 800m in 57.8s and final 400m in 27.8s.
“Strike was a different horse this time and we’re back on track,” Cran said.
“The week before he went really nice then just disappointed us a shade a week or so ago,” he said.
“But I pulled him out of Auckland because without a lead-up race he wouldn’t be competitive.”
The Kentuckiana Lodge team were to the fore in a one win mobile 2000m heat with Johnny Be, and also won maiden trials with unraced pacers, the Silk Road and Mirthful Mac.
By Jeff Scott