Aaron Bullock rounded off the week with a double at Newcastle on Saturday, taking his tally to eight winners from four meetings since Tuesday. He rode three winners at Tamworth on Tuesday, one at Coffs Harbour on Thursday, another double at Mudgee on Friday and two winners at Newcastle. In four months of the season the Singleton boy has ridden 39 ½ winners.
Kris Lees notched up his 57 ½ winner this season when the Australian Bloodstock owned Galaxy Belle with Bullock aboard raced away in the closing stages to win Heat 5 of the Sky Racing Summer Provincial Series (1600m). The mare had not won a race since January however, she had no luck last start at Canterbury when flattened fighting out the finish on November 11. After a tardy start, Bullock put Galaxy Belle in a perfect spot on the rail. On straightening, the Kiwi bred mare was on the back of the short priced favourite Oakfield Prince. The latter took the lead halfway down the straight however Galaxy Belle outstayed the favourite to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
Former Queensland gelding Debussy, on debut for Taree trainer Tony Ball was Bullock’s other winner in the Newsure Insurance Brokers Class 1 Handicap (900m). The four-year-old drew the rails barrier, and never went around a horse in his first run since August. Ball, foreman for many years for what is now the Godolphin stable has enjoyed plenty of success since moving back to Taree.
The Rosehill based training partnership of Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou were the punters friends earlier in the day when they won the first two races with well backed favourites. Blueskin backed from $2.60 into $1.80 came from last at the top of the straight to win the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Maiden Handicap (1400m). The winner had not raced since May, but he was most impressive and should have a successful preparation. The lightly raced Grebeni, fitter for a first up run missed the start by two lengths but powered home to win “The Lizard” Maiden Handicap (1600m).
While well backed horses won the first four races, the tide changed later in the day with the last four winners at double figure odds.