TAMWORTH Jockey Club’s final meeting of their 2017-2018 season could see a photo finish between two jockeys for the Hunter and North West Racing Association jockey’s premiership.
Aaron Bullock is within one win of perennial winner Greg Ryan in the HNWRA jockey’s title after riding a treble at Scone on Monday.
While Dubbo-based Ryan rode a double Bullock’s trio moved him within one win of Ryan, confirmed HNWRA chief steward Shane Cullen.
“Before Scone’s meeting Greg Ryan had 42 wins and Aaron Bullock 40,” Cullen confirmed on Friday
That ensures Sunday’s meeting at Tamworth, the penultimate of the HNWRA season, could be a shoot out between the two with just Tuesday’s Cessnock meeting to come.
For Bullock it would be special.
“I’ve never won a regional premiership before,” the 27-year-old said.
“Won a few track or club premierships but never one like the Hunter and North West. It would be great. Greg doesn’t need another one,” he joked.
Bullock has five rides at Sunday’s meeting while Greg Ryan has seven on the eight-race program.
However Bullock also has five rides at Cessnock (now transferred to Newcastle) on Tuesday.
“Greg’s not riding at the Cessnock meeting,” he said.
“That might be the only way to beat him.”
Ryan has been a perennial winner of regional and country jockey premierships and will be a massive “obstacle” come Sunday knowing he sits just one win ahead of his younger opponent and with just the Tamworth meeting to improve his tally.
Bullock has also had the support of the Kris Lees stable over the last three years but also had a few months off earlier this season to “repair” his body and overcome weight problems plus a shoulder injury.
“I had a bit of a break and lost two months of the season,” he confirmed before heading for an afternoon jog.
While they are locked in a battle for the jockey’s premiership Louise Day and Mikayla Weir are also vying for the HNWRA apprentice’s premiership.
It appears both have 13 wins entering the final two meetings of the season, although that statistic was unable to be confirmed by RacingNSW.
Both female apprentices have rides at Tamworth on Sunday as well.
Lees heads the HNWRA trainer’s premiership as well from fellow Novocastrian Paul Perry.
Scone’s Brett Cavanough is third while Armidale’s Stirling Osland has proven to be the big improver in the HNWRA with at least 20 wins this season from his Northern Tablelands stable.
Tamworth-based Sue Grills and Scone’s Rod Northam are also high up and have a number of runners at Tamworth on Sunday.
2017-18 HUNTER & NORTH WEST RACING ASSOCIATION PREMIERSHIPS.
Unofficial as at Thursday, July 26 (supplied by Geoff Newling).
TRAINERS: 42 Kris Lees, 33 Paul Perry, 31 Brett Cavanough, 20 Stirling Osland, 18 Sue Grills, 16 Rod Northam, 13 Peter Sinclair, 12 Paddy Cunningham, Allan Denham, Craig Martin, Luke Morgan, Les Tilley, 11 Cody Morgan, Melanie O’Gorman, 10 Jason Deamer, Stephen Jones, Mark Mason, 9 Mel Dennett, Paul Messara, 8 Kristen Buchanan, Michelle Fleming, Todd Howlett.
JOCKEYS: 44 Greg Ryan, 43 Aaron Bullock, 35 Ben Looker, Josh Oliver, 32 Grant Buckley, Robert Thompson, 28 Rachael Murray, 26 Andrew Gibbons, 21 Josh Adams, 15: Mitchell Bell, 14 Vad Bolozhinskyi, Luke Cumberland, Jodi Worley, 13 Travis Wolfgram, 12 Peter Graham, 11 Chris O’Brien, Geoff Snowden, 10 Craig Franklin, Serj Lisnyy, 9 Allan Chau, Jake Pracey-Holmes.
APPRENTICES: 13 Louise Day, Mikayla Weir, 10: Chloe Baker, Chris Williams, 8 Clayton Gallagher, 7 Cejay Graham, 4 Jean Van Overmeire, Wendy Peel, 3 Robbie Dolan, Chelsea Ings, Lexie McPherson, Alena Skerritt, Adam Spinks, Qin Yong, 2 Carla Dougherty, Jamie Gibbons, Rachel Hunt, Leah Kilner, Hyosik Lee, Miki Nakao, Jackson Murphy, 1 Nyssa Burrells, Kellie Holding, Kaylee Kirkwood, Emma Ljung, Blaike McDougall, Kirk Matheson, Claire Nutman, Olivia Pickering, Broke Stower, Sally Sweeney.
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