Day At The Track

Bull tops $2 million in stakes

08:33 AM 19 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Chicago Bull,Harness racing
Scott Hamilton Photo

IT was the moment Gary Hall Sr felt would never happen.

In fact, Chicago Bull topping $2 million in stakemoney came almost two years to the day since a freakish accident in New Zealand almost ended his career.

He became the 21st Australasian pacer to top $2 million in earnings and that’s despite effectively missing what would’ve been the prime 18 months of his career. Who knows what might have been.

Chicago Bull’s effortless win in Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Mount Eden Sprint (1730m) at Gloucester Park took his earnings to $2,002,531.

Watch the race replay click here!

The rising eight-year-old has won a staggering 57 of his 86 starts with another 23 placings.

Yes, Chicago Bull has only missed a place six times in his 86 starts, but it’s gets better.

Four of his unplaced runs came in his seven NZ runs before joining Hall Sr’s stable.

So in 79 starts for Hall Sr he’s only been unplaced twice … and both of those he ran fourth.

“He’s amazing on so many levels,” Hall Sr said. “I never imagined he’d be here, doing this now, after what happened in Auckland. It’s really a miraculous comeback (from fractures in his spine).

“We were devastated at the time. He was just going to the next level and had everything in front of him.

“It was touch and go whether he’d ever make it back to the track.

“Even when he did, we didn’t know what to expect. You couldn’t really think he’d get back to his best, but he really does seem as though he has.

“People say he’s better than ever, but he’s not. They’re just forgetting how good he was when he got the injury.”

Chicago Bull led easily from the pole with main danger Shockwave dropping in behind him and slick beginner Vampiro being snagged back from a wide draw (gate seven).

The first 500m was a dawdle, then driver Gary Hall Jr put the foot down with a 27.7sec second spot.

To Shockwave’s credit, driver Aiden de Campo came off the leader’s back to challenge for the last lap and they scorched a 26.6sec split from the 800-400m, while Chicago Bull still finished-off in 27.6sec to win 6.3m over a very gallant Shockwave. Vampiro grabbed the eye in third spot.

Chicago Bull ran the last 1200m in a staggering 1min21.9sec.

“He may back-up next week, we’ll wait and see how he comes through it. The Fremantle Cup is five weeks away, so I’d say he’ll have one, maybe two more runs before then,” Hall Sr said.

Shockwave, who beat Chicago Bull narrowly first-up, has since run two fantastic seconds behind him.

There looks to be very little between WA’S two best pacers and barrier draws are going to be crucial.


by Adam Hamilton

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