Day At The Track

Bullet takes aim at two big cups

08:40 AM 29 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Scott Ewen is off on a roadtrip seeking silverware with his handy performer Bulletproof Boy, Harness racing
Scott Ewen is off on a roadtrip seeking silverware with his handy performer Bulletproof Boy

Former South Australian harness racing trainer Scott Ewen was hoping his stable star Bulletproof Boy could creditably carry the flag in Melton metropolitan classes, after the stable’s move to Victoria 18 months ago.

But even Ewen couldn’t have hoped Bulletproof Boy (Art Official – My Riviera Girl (Red River Hanover) would eventually step up in the way he has – winning six races, including a Group Three, and developing into a model of consistency in the past six months.

Ewen and his partner Kylie are now preparing for a homecoming, of sorts – a 2000-kilometre road trip for “Bullet” to target the South Australian Pacing Cup (April 17) via Mildura, where the $60,000 Mildura Pacing Cup heats start on April 6.

“I always liked the horse and felt that he eventually had the potential to be a nice country cups horse,” Ewen said.

“But I think stepping up to race against the class of horse he’s been up against in Victoria has been the making of him,” he said.

“He took a little while to get used to it. When we first moved over, I was putting him into some really hard races because I thought he had to learn to race against those better horses.

“This time last year we were hoping to win a metro with him – last Saturday night’s Melton win was his fourth since September. He’s been terrific.”

Ewen trains a team of 10 from the Cranbourne Training Centre and says the facilities for the eight trainers at the complex are ideal.

“One of the big things for Bulletproof Boy has been being able to use the walker. I have a slightly different training regime to a lot of other trainers, in that I work them hard only once a week and their fastwork is pretty much at race speed,” Ewen said.

“I find that they recover well on the walker, so that’s been a big benefit, I think,” he said.

“But I’ve also been working with a new farrier on making some changes to his shoeing and I’m really pleased about how that seems to be helping him as well – I’m hoping there might be a little more improvement yet.”

Ewen said Bulletproof Boy has always had problems with hitting his hind bumpers (the back-side of the fetlock joint can hit the ground during high acceleration as the horse’s foot hits the track). 

“But my new farrier has been using ‘flip flops’ (polyflex horse shoes) which seem to be doing the trick.  His win at Melton was the first time we’ve raced him without him hitting his bumpers and he just felt great.  I think it’s helping his confidence and should help with his gate speed.”

Ewen said he’d planned to make a trip for the South Australian Pacing Cup last year, but was prevented from doing so by the COVID-19 restrictions.  Similarly, the Mildura Pacing Cup was cancelled last April due to COVID. Joining the road trip will be another cups contender in Assassinator, and consistent trotter Trouble Giero.

“We had Bulletproof Boy in the Mildura Cup two years ago, but then he’d really only just started to race in open company,” Ewen said.

“He is a different horse now.  He has a lot more bottom to him and he’s not pulling as much. He’s always been quick, but I think he has got faster, and he can run a slick 600 or 700 metres, rather than just two or three hundred,” he said.

“He’s won races at Mildura and he handles the track, so it’ll be good to see how he goes.”

Ewen said he was also looking forward to getting home to South Australia – but had no doubts the move to Victoria was the right one.

“We had our own property in Adelaide, but it was a constant battle with overheads and costs.  The combination of the better stake money and driver’s fees in Victoria, more meetings to place your horses and the fact that all of the facilities are here and maintained at the Cranbourne complex, we couldn’t be happier,” he said.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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