Cuchulainn In The Zone

Cuchulainn In The Zone

Bruce Stewart

Ryal Bush trotter Cuchulainn is currently in a purple patch of form.

Cuchulainn warming up at Wyndham

His win today for trainer Brett Gray and Butterworth Racing Syndicate was his second this season and backs up an impressive win last weekend on Cup Day at Ascot Park.

“He started the season okay but I had a bit of a viral thing go through the stable and when he ran fourth (in record time to Super Fast Pat at Winton) I backed off him and got him treated. He’s looking a lot better and he’s a lot sharper,” said Gray.

In today’s Caldwell Contracting Limited Handicap Trot driver Brent Barclay settled Cuchulainn third on the inside behind pacemaker Zoned Scarlett. The order remained the same until the 450 mark when Barclay seized the opportunity to get the drop on his main rival Dark Horse and moved the gelding off the running line. In the sharp burst of speed he was up challenging Zoned Scarlett for the lead at the top of the straight.

He trotted nicely down to the line to beat Dark Horse by two and a quarter lengths running the 2400 metres in 3-04.3.

“It worked out pretty good today. He’s a high speed horse.”

Cuchulainn and Brent Barclay beating Dark Horse – Photo Bruce Stewart

Dark Horse’s run was very encouraging. She gave 30 metres to Cuchulainn in the handicap and ran the distance in 3-02.4. Driver Nathan Williamson reported to a steward afterwards that she went rough in her gait when he pulled the earplugs halfway down the straight.

Like most of the Butterworth Racing Syndicate horses Cuchulainn will probably end up in Australia where Merv and Meg Butterworth live, but Gray’s hoping he may stay in the province until at least the end of the month.

“He’ll probably end up racing in Auckland or Australia in time but it’s up to Merv. Hopefully I can get to the Northland Southland meeting and the trot there ($30,000 EasiFeed Southern Lights).”

Cuchulainn, which is named after a Celtic Warrior of medieval Ireland, was bred at Macca Lodge by Brent and Cane McIntyre and is by Skyvalley out of the three win Sundon mare Come Follow Me.

He continues the great run his sire Muscle Yankee stallion Skyvalley is having at the moment.

War Admiral won at Addington on Friday night while super star trotter Tornado Valley won the $250,000 Group One Great Southern Star at Melton last night.

War Admiral, Tornado Valley and Cuchulainn are all out of Sundon mares.

Cuchulainn’s full brother Picketts Ridge also looks very promising, winning five races in a short career which has been hindered by injury.

He looked ready to resume when running second to Dark Horse at a recent Wyndham Workout.

Cuchulainn was originally raced by the McIntyres and trained by Brent, winning two races before the Butterworth Racing Syndicate bought the gelding. He was transferred to Gray’s stable shortly afterwards.

Today’s win was his fourth from just eleven starts.