Royal Ascot is looming large for boom sprinter Bulletin who maintained his undefeated record earlier today when making a winning return to racing in 2019.
Keeneland’s (Kentucky, USA) USD100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint Stakes (1100m) was marked as a litmus test for a tilt at Britain’s most famous racing carnivals and Bulletin couldn’t have been more emphatic. The chestnut colt quickly assumed control of the contest under jockey Javier Castellano, leading throughout at a fast clip before streaking away to win by an effortless length and a half.
Bulletin’s connections, WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Bloodstock, have never shied from international targets as exemplified by Yoshida and Audible’s involvement in last weekend’s Dubai World Cup and the former also contesting the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot 12 months ago.
“We’ve been looking at this [race at Keeneland] for a while since the stakes calendar came out. We circled it, hoping the weather was going to be good—April 4, you never know. But everything worked out well,” said Elliott Walden, President of WinStar Farm.
“He’s very special, very fast. That’s what you like to see. We’re going to keep him sprinting for now, but I really think he’ll stretch out to a mile as well. I don’t know if he’ll go further than that, but you look at him gallop out in the Breeders’ Cup and you look at him today—he doesn’t seem to get tired yet. He’s had three starts and he’s been perfect, so what else can you say? He’s pretty special.”
The G1 Commonwealth Cup (1200m), a feature sprint exclusive for three-year-olds, is a likely target for Bulletin who stamped himself as a performer on the rise when streeting away from 11 rivals in the USD1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last November.
“We want to go with the right horse,” Walden continued. We don’t want to just go to go. [Bulletin] is definitely the right horse if he’s healthy. I think he’ll fit really well with what they’ve got over there.
“It’s a little tricky with these 3-year-olds that are sprinters like this on the turf. There aren’t that many options [in the US]. There’s a race at Churchill in a few weeks, there’s a race at Belmont four weeks before Royal Ascot, so we’ll just see how it plays out, and we might not run him again until Royal Ascot. He runs good fresh, so we’ve proven that when he broke his maiden first time out in a stake. He had a big gap to the Breeders’ Cup and he had a big gap until today, so it’s not like he’s a horse that you need to run often. We’ll just have to see how Todd [Pletcher] thinks we should get to Royal Ascot, that’s the main goal. So it just depends on if we want to run him again or not [before then], and Todd will make that decision based on how he’s doing.”
Bulletin has won each of his three career starts and amassed more than USD650,000, a healthy surplus on his USD250,000 price tag. He is one of two star colts by City Zip for connections alongside G1 winning juvenile Improbable.
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