REJUVENATED sprinter Bullrush has fast-tracked its way into New Zealand stakes company after a brilliant first-up performance.
The Waikato Stud bred-and-owned sprinter was unbeaten in its first five appearances from the Sydney yard of John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes before his form tapered off and he returned home to join Moira and Kieran Murdoch’s stable.
The O’Reilly six-year-old has responded positively to a change of environment, as evidenced by its front-running victory at Hastings earlier this month in his first appearance from his new quarters.
Trainer Moira Murdoch said the horse is on target for the Listed 1200m sprint at Te Rapa on November 11.
“He’s come through that race very well and I don’t want to step him up to 1400m at the moment so he’s going to run in the Legacy Lodge Sprint,” she said.
“He’s a lovely horse and a pretty capable one too, he’s got plenty of pace. It’s just a matter of keeping him in the right shape and frame of mind now.”
Murdoch is hoping Bullrush’s form will warrant due consideration for group one starts later in the season, including the Sistema Stakes.
Meanwhile, plans are afoot for Promise To Reign to have a second crack at next month’s Group Three OMF Stakes at Ellerslie.
The horse finished a luckless fifth in the weight-for-age feature last year, but Murdoch already has a race in mind for the galloper.
“She’ll run in the Rating 85 over a mile at Hastings on Sunday and then we will be looking at the 2000m race on Melbourne Cup day again,” she said.
A last-start third on the opening day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, Promise To Reign has only won one race, but she is a multiple group placegetter.