TWO wins for the same horse in the space of 15 minutes – while it may sound like an impossibility that is exactly what Meadow Flat owner-breeder Graham Bullock enjoyed on Saturday evening.
Only one of them actually came on the track, but the dual successes highlights just how big a star trotter Red Hot Tooth has been for Bullock.
While he was at Menangle Park on Saturday night to claim the trophy awarded by Harness Breeders NSW for Red Hot Tooth being named Four-Year-Old Plus Trotting Mare of the Year, she was in action at Shepparton.
The Yankee Paco x Karaka Tooth mare won the annual Group 3 The George Gath (2,190 metres) for the second consecutive year.
“We were at a function at Menangle were she was awarded the New South Wales Breeders Association Trotting Mare of the Year and then 10 minutes later, after receiving that, she races and won The Gath race,” Bullock said.
“So it was a pretty good 15 minutes I can tell you.”
READ MORE: Hewitt goes back-to-back in special memorial
READ MORE: Tintin is Naturally on song for Elvis final
Saturday night built on what has already been an impressive season for the six-year-old mare. She qualified for the Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final and went into The Gath on the back of a third in the Maori Mile.
Before going from the inside of the second row with Zac Phillips in the gig, the scratching of Its Not Dark Yet gave Bullock’s mare a boost.
It meant she followed out a runner with much better gate speed – Big Jack Hammer – and was able to punch through into the trail.
There Phillips sat and waited before releasing Red Hot Tooth ($3.50) down the sprint lane. She won by 1.2m over Kyvalley Blur ($4.40) in a 1:59.8 mile rate, with Big Jack Hammer ($4.40) a further 3.1m back in third.
“We were very fortunate, we were originally drawn behind a very slow horse, she was coming off the back line, but it was scratched,” Bullock said.
“So we came out behind the probable leader in that race and that’s how it worked out. We were able to get in behind the leader from the back row draw.
“Zac has driven her virtually all of her career and he knows her like the back of his hand. He knows what she can do and he rates her really well.
“She was bolting around the corner, you could see she hadn’t used any energy at all. She was just ready to go.
“It’s a great thrill.”
She’s just an absolute elite mare and bred at Meadow Flat in the snow.Graham Bullock
The thrill extended to former Bathurst resident turned Victorian trainer Kari Males. Bullock is more than happy she works his talented mare.
“I knew Kari as a younger girl and she was always very pleasant and honest. When you send horses inter-state you’ve got to send them to someone you trust, that’s how she ended up with it,” he said.
“It’s one of those one in a lifetime horses, you probably only get one if your life if you’re lucky and she’s it.
Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here
“That was her 11th Group win, she’s just an absolute elite mare and bred at Meadow Flat in the snow.”
The next big assignment for Bullock’s star will come at Melton on January 26 in the Great Southern Star.
A Group 1 race that carries a $250,000 purse, it is a leg of the 2018/2019 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters. Bullock knows it will attract a crack field, so is hoping to draw a favourable barrier.
“It’s probably the biggest trotting race apart from the Inter Dominion that they contest,” he said. “The draw is the big thing, if you draw well you are in with a chance.”