Ultra-consistent but underrated sprinter Bulleteer caught many people by surprise when winning his heat of the Group 2 Bottle-O Ballarat Cup (450m) on Monday afternoon, but his trainer Darren Fisher wasn’t one of them.
Hindsight is 20/20 and a glance back at Bulleteer’s recent form showed the superbly-bred son of El Grand Senor and Group 1 Sapphire Crown winner Maja Mahi Mahi thoroughly deserved his shot at Group glory.
Fisher’s judgement was vindicated as $14 outsider Bulleteer swept to the front approaching the home turn and held Weblec Jet at bay in 25.07s, with $2.60 favourite Equalizer third and $3 second elect Rilynn Bale fourth.
“I liked the $23 they put up. That’s what I did like about it!” quipped Lara-based Fisher.
“I couldn’t believe he was $23. Rilynn Bale only beat him by a couple of lengths at Horsham about ten starts ago.
“I suppose he snuck under a few people’s guard with the step up but in his last 18 starts he’s won 10 and finished second six times, so there was nothing wrong with his form.
“He’s just a good little chaser and he’s been running the times to be competitive too; he was only about a length and a half outside Shima Shine’s record at Bendigo (425m).
“I started thinking about the Ballarat Cup about three weeks ago, after he won a couple of races at Sale over 440m. He was getting that far up in grade that I had to bite the bullet sooner or later so I decided to give him a crack at it.”
WATCH: Bulleteer (6) showed his exceptional mid-race speed when taking out his Ballarat Cup heat on Monday in 25.07sec.
In passing his biggest test to date with flying colours, Bulleteer improved his record to 15 from 32 and he remains undefeated in three assignments at Ballarat over 450m (2) and 390m.
The blueblood’s outstanding recent form is all the more impressive, considering that in winning four of his last six starts the closest he’s drawn to the rails has been box five.
And that’s where he’ll be again in Friday night’s Ballarat Cup Final, with TAB rating him the outsider of the field at $41.
“After the box draw I asked one of the local stewards whether I drew four or five and he told me five!” Fisher laughed ruefully.
“He’s up against it, with the box draw and a lot of speed in the race.
“He was a really bad box dog when we first got him but we’ve worked on that and he’s nowhere near as bad now.
“His mid-race pace is very good. If he can begin with them he can burst them apart with his mid-race speed and that’s what happened in the heat. He went around them and held on.
“His mid-race pace is very good. If he can begin with them he can burst them apart with his mid-race speed.”
“He did have a bit of a problem with cramping, which is why he was running over 390-400m but hopefully he’s over that now.
“He’s going to need more than a bit of luck. The only way he can win is probably to miss it and get on the fence and hope there’s a jam-up. But you’ve got to be in it to win it.”
Should Bulleteer pull off a massive Ballarat Cup surprise it would be one of the greatest moments of Fisher’s training career.
“I won the Warrnambool Classic with Zed Three back in 2002 and ran second in the Sale Cup with Chrichton Bale (2016),” Fisher said.
“I just take them around the bush and try to place them where the owners can have a bet and win some money that way. I haven’t really had the dogs to be competitive in these races but if they’re good enough, I’ll put them in. It’s as simple as that.”
Fisher is also training Maja Mahi Mahi’s second litter, to Barcia Bale, with Alfie Alligator enjoying a promising start to his career, winning two of his first three starts.
Bulleteer has won 15 of his 32 starts including three from three at Ballarat.
The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here