Bulletproof Boy shoots to win

03 January 2018 | Graham Fischer
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South Australia’s top two-year-old of 2016/2017 made the step up to his three-year-old year with a dashing victory in the 2017 Ubet St Leger (2230m) at Globe Derby Park.

After a defeat a week earlier as an odds-on favourite, Bulletproof Boy started at the generous odds of $5.10 from gate one and dashed up the sprint lane to score a 2-1/2 metre win from Culzean Castle ($12.70) with its stablemate The Deal ($25.60), two metres away third.

Trainer-driver Scott Ewen was delighted with the classic victory.

“I’ll be heading to Mildura this week to try and pick up his Vic bonus before running in the South Australian Derby at Globe Derby Park on January 13,” Ewen said.

“Last week he led, and I don’t really think he is a leader. I didn’t drive him as well as maybe I could have but tonight it worked out beautifully as he took the sit and got to come through on the sprint lane.”

Ewen went one better than his father Barry, who passed away several months ago.

Ewen snr ran second in the 1986 St Leger with Swing Parade behind the very good Jeremiah Weed.

“Tonight’s win will be a great tonic for my longtime client ‘Chook’ Okmasich.

“He’s doing it a bit tough at present but I’m sure he will have watched the race on Sky Channel and very happy. He said if we run in the Derby he’ll try to make it to the track so that is now our goal.”

Don’t Tell William, trained by Toby Ryan and driven by his wife Lisa, started a red-hot $1.40 favourite.

As expected, the gelding led comfortably from gate three with Ewen sitting on his back on Bulletproof Boy.

Trainer Greg Norman had three runners in the St Leger – The Deal, Culzean Castle and Fiery Mac.

He drove The Deal which, from gate five, found himself parked and with a lap to go moved up to challenge the favourite.

The pair went head-to-head down the back and on the home turn The Deal stuck his head in front and Don’t Tell William started to struggle.

Bulletproof Boy accelerated along the sprint lane and it was left to Culzean Castle to run home from second last but he never looked a chance of catching the winner. The Deal held on well for third with Don’t Tell William fading to fifth.

The favourite didn’t handle the step up from 1800m to 22230m. A week earlier, over the shorter trip, he had given Bulletproof Boy a 30-metre start and cut him down with a brilliant sprint.

Bulletproof Boy won the Lordship Stakes last season after an eye-catching fourth in the Southern Cross final behind That’s Perfect. He is building an impressive form profile with six wins and seven placings from just 16 starts with fourths at his other three runs.