Brad Widdup’s new racing colours could not have got a more fitting airing at Nowra – thanks to a “sizzling” performance from a lightly-raced colt.
Having only his second start, Sizzling three-year-old Bullet Storm ($3.50 favorite) won the Maiden Plate (1400m) in the style of a young horse promising better things ahead.
In doing so, he provided Hawkesbury’s leading trainer with his 100th career success.
And the victory was good news all the way to Hong Kong as well.
A $170,000 purchase at last year’s Inglis Classic yearling sale in Sydney, Bullet Storm is raced by Hong Kong-based Sweetbriar Equine.
“I got a phone call out of the blue asking if I would train this colt,” Widdup said this evening.
“He is the only horse I have at present for the owner, and it was satisfying to get an early result.
“That was a nice bonus because I feel he can get up to 2000m.”
Bullet Storm is the second foal of the unraced Lonhro mare Transocean, and gave Widdup his second victory in the last few days with a connection to the former champion Lonhro, who won 26 races (including 11 at Group 1 level).
Widdup’s promising Lonhro filly Darling Point (James McDonald) also broke through at her second start, on her home track at Hawkesbury last Thursday.
Widdup’s new colours of white, navy blue and red have been used only on two of his horses.
Bullet Storm made his debut at Newcastle on August 10 when fourth to Famous in a 1200m Maiden, as a $31 chance.
Dropping back to country grade at Nowra and with his distance increased to 1400m, he was solidly supported – and didn’t let his backers down.
With Adam Hyeronimus aboard, Bullet Storm produced a good turn of foot over the last 200m to score convincingly from roughies Antarctic Ocean ($19) and Brad ($31).
Whilst the colt covered ground, his rider wasn’t concerned.
“Bullet Storm got into a good rhythm,” Hyeronimus said. “He is a nice horse who is still learning and is going to be even better getting up to 2000m.”
Widdup had praise for both his horse and his jockey.
“I’ve never had a lot to do with Adam before, but I’ve always admired him,” he said.
“I like strong riders, and he is one and goes about his business without any fuss.
“Adam is an excellent back-up at these meetings when Christian (Reith) is unavailable.”
Reith, Widdup’s brother-in-law, was in action at the corresponding Muswellbrook meeting today, where he had a full book of seven rides and landed a winner and three placings.