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Thyself prime chance for Bullock to climb Highway ladder

3 minute read

When you consider that it’s highly likely sometime this year Aaron Bullock will notch his 1000th career win it’s surprising to note only three of his victories have come in TAB Highway races.

Jockey : AARON BULLOCK. Picture: Steve Hart

Last season's Australian jockey premiership winner is prolific in the country, and a regular at the provincials on the weekend, but is an infrequent visitor to Sydney – just 110 of his over 4800 rides have been in the Harbour City.

But there was no way he was going to miss the ride again on promising three-year-old Know Thyself in the TAB Highway (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

A personal commitment saw him not continue his association with the Paul Messara & Leah Gavranich-trained gelding's first-up second at Canterbury having been on board in his first two starts.

"Unless I think it's a good chance there's no point in me giving up a full book at Newcastle on a Saturday,'' Bullock said.

"What I'm loving about this race is he's racing one class above what he could be in which is good because he gets 58kg, he's drawn gate one, he's at 1400m which I know he with relish.

"He's one of the better ones I've ridden out of the Messara camp. If he possesses that turn of foot at 1400m it'll take a good horse to beat him."

Bullock, who sits on 947 wins, notched just his third Highway win two weeks ago when he partnered Rematch at Rosehill and while that horse was well fancied, expectations for higher with Know Thyself, $1.85 with TAB on Friday, who has a Brisbane mission on the agenda beyond Saturday.

The Group 3 Winx Guineas (1600m) on the Sunshine Coast was mentioned by Messara prior to his first-up run as a likely target and this Highway as the stepping stone.

The gelding had a hard luck story when he resumed at Canterbury on the back of one trial, flashing late when he was able to get into the clear, and while he's drawn the inside barrier that's of no concern to Bullock.

It does bring up the memory of Know Thyself's debut at Newcastle where Bullock almost had to see if the horse could jump over those in front of him before he darted along the fence to win easily.

"I was a $1.20 and locked up on the fence, it was a bit hairy, I had to get through on the inside. It was a bit of a Kementari/Nash moment but he still won and won with authority,'' he said.

"We're going to be able to put ourselves right behind the speed so there's only going to be a few horses I have to navigate around.

"If I was on Akasawa or something like that then maybe yes it would be a worry but he's a horse that begins well and puts himself straight into stride. Hopefully the gaps come at the right time."

Imported galloper Fulfilled interests Bullock in the James Squire Handicap (2000m) from the perspective that he showed a bit in a trial prior to his local debut at Scone.

The Kris Lees-trained five-year-old won four of his 15 starts overseas prior to landing in Australia and Bullock will head to Rosehill expecting to see a little more than in his 11th behind Unusual Legacy a month ago.

"He trialled well and then first-up at 1700m he was always going to improve,'' he said.

"He was beaten six lengths which is like one second, he'll be better for it and I wouldn't be too hard on that first-up run."

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