Singleton jockey, Aaron Bullock rides David Atkins trained Jonkers to victory in first Max Lees Classic | photos, videos

SPEED MACHINE: The David Atkins-trained Jonker powers away from his rivals close to home in the Max Lees Classic on Sunday at Newcastle Racecourse. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll
SPEED MACHINE: The David Atkins-trained Jonker powers away from his rivals close to home in the Max Lees Classic on Sunday at Newcastle Racecourse. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll
ON TOP: Jockey Aaron Bullock after Jonker's victory.

ON TOP: Jockey Aaron Bullock after Jonker's victory.

The Magic Millions Classic and perhaps many more big races, beckon for Jonker after his impressive victory on debut at Newcastle on Sunday.

And, riding him to the historic victory was Singleton jockey, Aaron Bullock.

ALL SMILES: Jonker part-owner Doug Crich enjoying the win.

ALL SMILES: Jonker part-owner Doug Crich enjoying the win.

Bullock took the Spirit Of Boom colt to the lead and he was never threatened, winning in 51.27 seconds.

“When they come to him, he really grabbed the bit, which is a good sign,” he said. 

“He overdid it a bit but I just compensated and held him for an extra 50 in the straight, and he did well. He’s definitely a nice horse and he’s got a lot more in him, don’t worry about that.”

“I’ve ridden a lot of two-year-old of Kris’s but I said to Dave I haven’t had one give me a feel like this in a long time.”

Sunday’s performance has seen Jonker’s price coming in from $25 to $11 with TAB Fixed Odds for the January 13, $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast.

For his Newcastle trainer David Atkins, however, claiming the first, $50,000 Max Lees Classic will always be special.

Jonker, the $1.45 favourite, justified heavy support with a commanding three-length win in the inaugural 900-metre two-year-old race created to honour the champion Newcastle trainer, who died in 2003.

Atkins said “there’s a long way to go” before that race and he was focused on the $200,000 Wyong Magic Millions (1100m) on December 21 and Sunday’s win. 

“It was good to win a race named after Max,” Atkins said.

 “I always thought very highly of him. I came down here about 25 years ago and I’d talk to Max of a morning. He was just a nice bloke, a very normal person. He never thought he was better than anyone else, and they are the people I like.”

Part-owner Doug Crich picked out the $45,000 buy because of his distant relation to his former Atkins-trained group 2 winner, Impaler. Crich said it was “a very big privilege” to win the first Max Lees Classic.

“We’re just a bunch of mates out on the golf course who decided we were going to buy a horse at the Millions, and they entrusted me to have a look at them, I don’t know why,” Crich said.

“And we’ve come up with this horse because he was a little bit related to Impaler. He wasn’t dear but I didn’t have many more thousands to go in the kick, so it was a good buy. We’re very, very excited and he’s told us from day one, Aaron, that it was a good horse.”