Know Thyself set to target the Winx Guineas

Hard-working jockey Aaron Bullock has continued his incredible association with trainers Paul Messara and Leah Gavranich at Rosehill, and now he is hoping to parlay that into stakes success in Queensland.

The trio combined with exciting three-year-old Know Thyself in Saturday’s Highway Handicap (1400m), the gelding taking Bullock’s record for the stable to 22 wins from 52 rides at a winning strikerate of more than 42 per cent.

The hoop leads the NSW premiership with around six weeks of the season remaining and he says the support of Messara, who also works as general manager for Arrowfield Stud, has been crucial to his confidence and success.

“They’ve backed me, they’ve given me the chance and I’ve got no doubt I can do it down here (in Sydney),” said Bullock, who is based in the Hunter.

“I ply my trade in the country and I’m happy to stay there, but I’m just very grateful that when the opportunities come and I get an opportunity down here, I take them with both hands.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Arrowfield.”

Bullock was effusive in his praise for Know Thyself, who took his record to three victories from four starts with a 5-1/4 length demolition of Saturday’s field, his winning margin the third biggest recorded since the Highway Handicaps started almost a decade ago.

The horse will now head north for next month’s Winx Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast where Bullock is keen to stick with him.

“Like I said to Paul from the first day I got on him, he’s blessed with ability and we haven’t seen the best of him yet,” Bullock said.

“I just can’t wait to see him at a mile.

“I’m going to have to get on a bit of a diet from now on…. just to zone right in and hopefully keep the ride on him.”

Know Thyself will carry 57kg under the set weights conditions of the Winx Guineas, an impost within Bullock’s range.

Glenn Munsie, representing the Ladbrokes Racing Club which has a stake in Know Thyself along with managing owner and Arrowfield supremo John Messara, said the Queensland feature had been a long-range goal for the horse.

“It was always the plan,” Munsie said.

“He only had the one trial, he needed the run at Canterbury (first-up) and he’s going to get over some ground.

“The Winx Guineas on the sixth of July over a mile, that looks like being his next run.

“Aaron has always had a massive opinion of him. You don’t often see horses win Highways as easily as that.”

The Group 3 Winx Guineas is on July 6.

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