Strategic signing by Bullarook Stud

Avenel based Bullarook Stud has added Strategic Maneuver to its roster for 2011.  The Gooree Park homebred is bred on the same Royal Academy – Vain cross as Bel Esprit.

Bullarook owner Malcolm Boyd is confident he will impress broodmare owners.  “Strategic Maneuver is a lovely horse and really catches the eye.  He has great length, good bone and a lovely head.”

Strategic Maneuver (5h Royal Academy – Crystal Gauntlet by Marscay) was trained by Gai Waterhouse and was the talk of the trials after streeting his rivals in a couple of hit-outs as an autumn two year-old.

Subsequently sent out a $1.60 favourite at Randwick in May 2008, the good looking chestnut could not have been more impressive when racing away to a near three length victory.

Waterhouse intended to step him up in grade after such a dominant debut.  “Strategic Maneuver is very exciting,” Waterhouse said at the time.  “He’s a stakes-horse in the making – I have no doubts about that.”

Plans for the Queensland winter and the Sydney spring carnivals were put in place but they had to be shelved when the colt developed quartercracks in his front feet.

It would be two years until Strategic Maneuver was seen again.  Connections were so confident of his natural talent, they kept persevering through his hoof problems.

Returning to the track in February this year, Strategic Maneuver was sent out a $1.50 favourite at Canterbury but, after showing good speed, he faded to finish sixth having broken his pedal bone.

It was a definite case of what might have been with Waterhouse.  “Strategic Maneuver was the fastest colt I’ve trained since Dance Hero and Sebring,” she said.  “He possessed a wonderful cruising speed and was one of the nicest looking horses in the yard.”

Waterhouse is looking forward to training his progeny and she will have plenty to work with because Gooree Park owner Eduardo Cojuangco has retained shares in the five-year-old.

Like leading Victorian stallion Bel Esprit – sire of superstar Black Caviar – Strategic Maneuver is a son of Group 1 racehorse and international sire influence Royal Academy.

His dam Crystal Gauntlet is a half sister to Listed winner Proud Player and dams of the Royal Academy stakes winners Poor Judge and Royal Courtship.

Bullarook stood Monde Bleu (Last Tycoon) and Hemingway (Spectrum) in 2010.  Murphy’s Blu Boy (Blu Tusmani) joined the roster from the Hunter Valley last year but died halfway through his first Victorian book.

Strategic Maneuver makes his Bullarook debut at a fee of $4,400 (inc gst).