Bullpit sets up slick time


Speedster Bullpit almost gave trainer Danny O'Brien pole position in the Jeep 55 Second Challenge with a scintillating display of speed at Moonee Valley tonight.

Instead it's trainer Darren Weir who is prime position for the prize as his filly, Tuscan Sling collared O'Brien's charge in the shadows of the post to record 54.90 seconds for the 955m scamper.

"It was a terrific run from Bullpit, but unfortunately the filly had a 4kg pull in the weights and in the end she was able to prove too good with a softer run," O'Brien said.

Champion hoop Damien Oliver said if not for having to withstand pressure through the first 400m of the race he is adamant that result could have been different for the son Speed 'N' Power.

"He went super, but as you do in these 955m event there always plenty of speed, but he is in for strong four-year-old season," Oliver said.

A staple of the night racing program, the 55 Second Challenge has created plenty of interest in recent seasons – but Tuscan Fire recorded an amazingly high benchmark after clocking a slick 54.90 seconds for the 955m sprint.

To put the time in perspective – last year’s winner was Beach Front ran 55.08 seconds, and it’s the first time a horse has broken the 55 second mark since 2012/13.

O'Brien is looking at coming back to the Valley with Bullpit, possibly on Cox Plate eve, for another crack at the short course.

"He loves the Valley and he is racing in career best form so we can't wait to get another chance at breaking 55 seconds."

Photo by Darryl Shearer

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