Wauchope Cup gives Bullock 100th win of the season

Aaron Bullock offers a thumbs up when returning to scale after winning the Wauchope Cup on Think Free. Trackside Photography.

For the second-consecutive season and the third time in four years, Aaron Bullock has broken the magical 100 mark for winners in a season. 

Riding at Kempsey on Sunday, the popular country jockey rode a winning-double, firstly guiding Oakfield Target to victory in the 1450m Class Two Handicap for Damien Lane. 

In the feature of the day, the Tumut product brought up his 100th winner, booting home the Kris Lees-trained Think Free in the $32,000 Wauchope Cup. 

“It was good. It was a bit of an omen one, riding for Kris and it being the feature race of the day,” Bullock laughed. 

“He has been unreal for me and a big supporter for me, so it was great to bring up the 100 and win the cup on his horse.”

Bullock is making a name for himself as the country cup king, and while he said he wasn’t solely targeting country cups, he admitted he was slowly marking off the feature races he had won.

“I hadn’t won the Wauchope Cup before, but I would have only had a couple of rides in the race,” Bullock said. 

“It was a good one to win but I didn’t set myself a task of winning it or anything, I never do, I just love winning country cups.

“I do most of my riding in the bush and winning these country cups is terrific and I will keep ticking them of the list. It’s been good to fill up the trophy cabinet.”

The Wauchope Cup was transferred to Kempsey, and that suited Bullock, who enjoys riding at the track. 

“It played fair, it’s a good little track if it’s not too wet,” Bullock said. 

“It’s a typical bush track but they all get their chance if they are good enough. We had a lot of rain leading up to it and I was surprised it was as good as it was.”

Bullock was over the moon to bring up 100 wins for the third time in his career, and was now eyeing more success, setting himself a goal of annually hitting the triple figure mark. 

“To break 100 three times, it feels unreal,” Bullock said. 

“Not many jockeys get to ride 100 winners any year in their career, but to do it in consecutive years, it makes it all worthwhile.

“I want to keep getting there and riding 100 winners, and if I can keep doing it, I will – it’s achievable.”

The 30-year-old has had a season to remember and currently sits fifth overall on the NSW’s jockey’s premiership ladder and second overall in NSW Country, boasting a winning percentage of 23.10%, which is second only to James McDonald with 25.2%

Aaron Bullock guides Think Free to victory in the Wauchope Cup, winning the $32,000 race for trainer Kris Lees and notching his 100th winner for the season in the process. Photos: Trackside Photography.

What makes Bullock’s achievements all the more incredible is the fact that he rides heavy, but he believed his issues with weight, which had previously resulted in extended periods out of the saddle, were now behind him.

“I have been riding 57kg, and riding half a kilo or kilo over, but I can do that every day and it doesn’t bust me too much,” Bullock said. 

“I’ve been able to get my life back, going to weddings, holidays and a bucks show and still keeping my weight.

“Hopefully I can keep doing that and just keep riding for 12 months of the year.”

Bullock will get a chance to add to his tally  and break his personal best mark of 107 winners for the year, which he recorded in 2017/18, when riding all over NSW in the next five weeks, before the season comes to a close on July 31.