By Mark Brassel
It’s what the Country Championships is all about – a trainer with just three horses in his stable getting a serious crack at half a million dollars at Royal Randwick!
Peter Morgan prepares his tiny team at Wagga and next Sunday he will be represented by Bulala in the $150,000 Southern Districts Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) on home soil.
With a top-two finish, Bulala will cement his place in the $500,000 Country Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday 7 April.
“That’s the plan and everything has fallen into place,” Morgan declared. “He (Bulala) is the kindest horse you’ll ever find and is a dream to work with; he has the best attitude.
“He’s easy-going and can settle in his races and amble along. Once presented for his final sprint, he takes four or five strides to get into top gear but then he hits the line hard.”
Bulala is no slouch, having won both his starts since resuming from a four-and-a-half-month spell. The gelding scored first-up at Albury (1175m) then powered home to win on his home course (1200m) on February 9.
And the form around this genuine galloper has since been franked with Wagga runner-up, Bank on Henry having since won at Orange.
Before spelling Bulala had contested three TAB Highway races in the city during the winter and early spring, the latest finishing just behind the placegetters in Another Sin’s Rosehill Gardens victory in August. The gelding now has the impressive record of 10 starts for four wins and three placings.
“He was passed in at one of the Sydney sales and I bought him afterwards from John North of Bowness Stud. He was small so we needed to give him plenty of time to mature and grow. That’s why he is a five-year-old and has only raced ten times.”
With just two horses in his stable presently competing, Morgan’s small team has been building an excellent 50% strike rate with four winners from his last eight starters, that being from two wins via Bulala and Zarlu.
Mathew Cahill, who has partnered Bulala on three occasions for two wins, will be aboard the horse next Sunday.
Murrumbidgee Turf Club’s CEO, Scott Sanbrook, said he is expecting a sizeable crowd to Wagga: “Apart from some fantastic racing, there will be stacks of action off the track including the ‘Win a Horse for the Day’ promotion with $2000 cash up for grabs.
“We also have a DJ playing throughout the afternoon and tons of free kids’ entertainment, and the virtual reality racing experience is certain to be a hit along with giveaways galore. Our special guest is rugby league great Mark Coyne, with gates opening at noon.”