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June 22, 2024 11:33 PM

Bullock sets his sights on a Muswellbrook Cup victory

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BY ALEX TIGANI

Aaron Bullock has had a season to remember.

The Singleton jockey qualified his second winner into the $500,000 Country Championships final when riding the Cody Morgan-trained Talbragar to victory in Scone on Monday.

The win came only 23 days after he first qualified Paul Messara’s Akasawa into the highly anticipated Randwick blockbuster which will be held on Saturday, April 1.

Yet even Bullock admits there’s a race he holds just as close to his heart, taking place in the Upper Hunter 24 hours earlier.

“I haven’t been lucky enough to win a Muswellbrook Cup,” Bullock told The Hunter River Times.

“I say to people all of the time, winning big races and winning hundreds of races isn’t my forte.

“I just like doing my job and giving it every chance.”

Despite the 32-year-old’s modesty, he does admit Country Cups are on his agenda.

This was evident in his birthplace of Tumut on Boxing Day when 1500 people, including his family and friends, cheered him onto a winning double.

He now hopes to finally add the title of Muswellbrook Cup winning jockey to his illustrious list of achievements on the saddle, more than a decade after he first honed his craft as a teenager at Skellatar Park.

“I do admit I love winning country cups and I love getting trophies and bringing them home,” he continued.

“I’m from the country, born and bred in Tumut and raised in Singleton and my two favourite country tracks are Muswellbrook and Scone because when they get them spot on they are so good to ride.”

When Bullock drives through the gates of Muswellbrook’s iconic racetrack, he still vividly recalls the early starts he spent at the tender age of 16 learning his gallops for Lower Belford trainer Todd Howlett.

As he matured, Cups victories at venues such as Taree and Coffs Harbour have become added bonuses on his rise up the NSW Jockey Premiership ladder each season as a result of his consistency.

Bullock made history when he secured his first career quintet in Muswellbrook on Friday, November 25. He then replicated the feat in Taree last month.

It is suspected that he will be riding Gem Song for Newcastle trainer Kris Lees who is also aiming for his second Muswellbrook Cup win in three years.

Interestingly, the stakes’ winner is regarded as a racehorse with above-average ability.

“Gem Song is a very good horse, he has won a couple of listed Group races and I have run fifth and second on him at the Archer in Rockhampton and the Ramornie Handicap.”

MEANWHILE the Muswellbrook Shire Council has confirmed that the Muswellbrook Gold Cup Race Day will be a public holiday from 12pm.

Furthermore the Muswellbrook Race Club has organised free buses for the community in Muswellbrook to collect and drop patrons off with drop off points at Centabrook, Train Station, Workers Club, Remington, Hermitage and ALDI.

“We have a great BHP Fashion on the Field Event with over $3000 in prizes, plus live music, great food and excellent racing with the $150,000 Two Rivers Wines Gold Cup over 1500m,” Muswellbrook Race Club CEO Trevor Taylor explained.

“Tickets are selling fast.”

(Full Muswellbrook Gold Cup Sweep available in our latest edition)

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