Ladbrokes Racing Club landed their first NSW victory on Tuesday, with the Paul Messara and Leah Gavranich-trained Know Thyself prevailing in the $30,000 Country Boosted Maiden Handicap (1200m) at the Wine Country Race Club’s meeting at Newcastle.
The three-year-old, racing in the Ladbroke’s red and white silks, was on debut and started a well-supported $1.24 favourite.
With Australia’s leading country jockey Aaron Bullock in the saddle, there were some nervous moments down the Newcastle straight, with the pair strung up in traffic.
Bullock eventually opted for the inside and Know Thyself’s class prevailed as the well-bred gelding shot through on the rails before putting two lengths on the field in quick time.
Bullock admitted it might have been a tough watch for favourite punters, but he was full of praise for Know Thyself, which he described as a ‘serious horse’.
“The second favourite (Sheza Rainbird) outside me was never going to let me out, and if you are all customers of Ladbroke’s, you know how to read races,” Bullock quipped in his post-race interview.
“When the calvary came at the 450m, it’s always going to keep that two-wide train, as I call it, and when I saw that in my peripherical vision, I ramped up and tried to get out at the top of the straight and Miakyla (Weir) wasn’t going to let that happen.
“Then all I was banking on with a lap full of horse was the leader coming off the fence, and to this horse’s credit, I just swapped back, and geez, he motored; he’s a serious horse, guys.”
It was a huge win for Ladbrokes Racing Club’s connections that were on course, led by the bookmaker’s representative, Glenn Munsie.
The Ladbroke’s Racing Club concept is only in its infancy, having operated for approximately nine months.
Completely free to join and participate; it is a unique experience offered to Ladbrokes customers.
Ladbrokes Racing Club delivers racing ownership experiences in all three racing codes while driving awareness of racing ownership through leading trainers and stables.
“The premise of the (Ladbrokes Racing) Club is owner experience and giving customers a nice participation pathway and good experience, essentially targeting our next generation of owners,” Ladbrokes General Manager – Ownership & Participation, Ryan Stanaway, said.
“Those that opted in get trainer updates and opportunities to go to the races and cheer them home.
“We’re very much in our infancy, but we have a mixture of young horses we purchased at the sales last year, and some tried horses up and going.”
By The Autumn Sun and out of Mantra Of Life, Know Thyself was a $300,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Andrew Williams Bloodstock from the Arrowfield draft.
Ladbrokes Racing Club races the horses in partnership with Arrowfield, and he could be one to watch going forward.
“That was our first NSW win, which is very exciting, and it’s good to see him get the coin,” Stanaway said.
“We’ve had a few around the money lately that haven’t quite broken through, and it was good because we had a number of customers that attended from that local area, and they experienced a good win.
“Hopefully, some of those guys follow the horse the rest of his career; we have always had a nice opinion of the horse.”
While Know Thyself’s win was the talking point at Newcastle, Aaron Bullock was again the jockey of the moment, extending his lead to eight on the NSW jockey’s premiership when booting home three winners on the day.
Teaming up with Messara and Gavranich again, he won on My Riviera ($1.60) in the 1400m Class One Handicap, while he scored a good win on the James Dobie-trained Smoke On The Water ($2.90) in the 1200m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
For all results, click here.