Gary Harley – Wrap – 06.02.24

New South Wales Jockey’s Premiership leader Aaron Bullock had a day out at Tuesday’s Wine Country Race Club meeting conducted at Newcastle, riding three winners and a second on the seven-race program. The Scone training partnership of Paul Messara and Leah Gavranich backed up a successful day on the Newcastle track on Saturday with another double on Tuesday. Bullock and the Scone pair combined with two winners, Know Thyself and My Riviera – both odds-on favourites.

Know Thyself, raced by the Ladbrokes Racing Club in partnership with Arrowfield’s John Messara overcame a checkered run in the straight to run away with the New Era Technology Country Boosted Maiden Handicap (1200m). It was the three-year-olds first start, and on the evidence of a good trial the gelding was backed into $1.24. The son of The Autumn Sun raced behind the leaders until halfway down the straight where he was climbing over the leaders looking for clear running. There were a few anxious moments before Bullock cited a gap along the rail and he dragged the promising galloper into the gap. Once in the clear Know Thyself sprinted clear to win by 2.07 lengths.

My Riviera was the $1.60 favourite in the New Zealand Bloodstock Country Boosted Class 1 Handicap (1400m). It was the four-year-old mares third start after a Tamworth win and a close second at Muswellbrook. She settled midfield and Bullock sent her towards the leading bunch on straightening and she sprinted away to win by 1.61 lengths.

Bullock’s third winner Smoke On The Water, trained at Muswellbrook by James Dobie made it two wins from as many starts when an easy winner of the Horsepower Feeds & Supplements Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m). The three-year-old won on debut at Gunnedah on January 16.

Wyong trainer Kim Waugh’s successful season continued when Community, raced by a group of well-known ex- Newcastle rugby league players won the opening event, the Sharp Office Class 1 & Maiden Plate (1900m). Community won his previous start also at Newcastle on January 27, but he had to survive a protest from runner up Fioprospero on Tuesday. The pair had a bump in the closing stages, but the protest was quickly dismissed. The ownership group includes former Newcastle Knights Steve Storrie and John Carlaw, Sydney Roosters Justin Dooley and Newcastle club players Frank Lawler and Brendan Dooley.

Newcastle trainer David Atkins trained a long-priced winner when Rockbarton Ice won the Coastline Pool & Spa Maiden Plate (1400m). Ridden by Kris Lees’ apprentice Ben Osmond, the $17 chance cruised home down the outside of the field to win by 1.44 lengths. The winner is raced by Atkins’ long time owner Matt Chidgey, and he was resuming from a long spell. He had finished last in his only other start at Gosford in June.

Champion trainer Ciaron Maher has a promising galloper in Cape Byron, winner of the Lees Racing Benchmark 66 Handicap (1400m). He was a brilliant winner first up at Wyong and he came from well back on Tuesday with Louise Day in the saddle.