Christian Cullen entire back in the winners circle

01:02 PM 19 Jul 2014 NZST
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Philip Butcher
Philip Butcher drove The Bucket List to victory last night
The Bucket List

Harness racing can be a cruel game at times with some horses forever seeming to have bad luck.

The Bucket List would have to be near the front of that queue in the last twelve months with a run of bad luck you wouldn't wish on anybody.

After The Bucket List had won four of his first seven starts, he was thrown in the deep end against the best of his age group at three.

While he performed really well, it was a steep learning curve for the Christian Cullen entire and seem to shake his confidence for a while.

A nice run for second behind Pass Them By 1:53.6 ($175,081), beaten a ½ neck in a 1:57.3 mile rate over 2200 meters convinced trainer Geoff Small to send The Bucket List to Ashburton for the 3 year old Harness Jewels.

Although never a winning chance in a race run in 1:50.6, The Bucket List went super to run 1:52.1, beating home two very smart horses in Franco Nelson 1:53.1 ($425,446) and Elios 1:55 ($213,676) in the process.

Reappearing at Alexandra Park in January 2014, The Bucket List looked ready to fulfill his early potential with a brilliant win, coming from last at the 500 meter mark to beat a field containing Ideal Belle 1:52.2 (pl) ($176,409)  Maxim 1:56.6 $396,913) and Sky Major 1:52 ($411,002).

He paced the 2200 meters in a brilliant 2:39.4, a mile rate of 1:56.6 with closing sectionals of 56.7 and 28.3 and looked set for a huge season.

But from that point on, The Bucket List has hit one brick wall after another.

Renowned for having a lethal sprint if saved for one run, the Bucket List has had a succession of runs where he was late getting clear, blocked for a run or pushed back at the wrong time.

The luck had to change eventually and last night at Alexandra Park, The Bucket List got the kind of run he has been seeking for a while now.

Leading early in the 2700 meters stand, driver Philip Butcher took a trail after 400 meters and soon after was three back on the inner as the smart 3 year old Regulus went to the front.

Thats where he stayed until they turned for home where he angled for a run up the passing lane and burst through late to win going away by two lengths.

He paced the 2700 from a stand in 3:27.8, a mile rate of 2:03.8 with smart closing sectionals of 56.7 and 27.6.

It was his sixth lifetime win coupled with twelve placings which has seen him bank $76,945 in stakes to date.

Now that his luck has turned, it wouldn't surprise anyone if The Bucket List strung a few wins together in the next few weeks.

Harnesslink media

 

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