Gary Harley – Herald 05.12.20

Last seasons New South Wales Jockeys Premiership winner Andrew Gibbons has a nice book of rides with five mounts at Saturday’s Newcastle race meeting.

‘Gibbo’ has ridden 23 winners in just over four months in the current season and Newcastle is his favourite track. He kicks off the day with promising three-year-old Britain in the Newcastle Stevedores Class 1 Handicap (900m). Britain was impressive in winning his only Newcastle start in May. He was beaten a little more than a length first up at Warwick Farm on November 25 in a much classier field than Saturday.

All Things, Gibbons mount in the 1880 metre Reanna Lantry Benchmark 64 Handicap has won two races and the Newcastle hoop has been aboard both times. Kris Lees and Gibbons combine with the mare Illecebrous in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Benchmark 68 Handicap (1200m). The four-year-old has won three from seven but it is a tough race.

Other rides for the three-time Newcastle Premiership winner are Atonement and Lord Nova who will be outsiders in their respective races. I caught up with Gibbons on Thursday “I feel Britain is my best mount. He gave me a good feel the day I won on him at Newcastle. He was a big baby back then and I seem to have good luck when I ride for Greg Hickman. This horse should have a lovely run from the barrier and his first up run in a strong race was good enough. I have won two races on All Things and he is ready to win after three runs back this preparation. The 1880m is in his favour and the long straight will suit. Illecebrous is talented and has a chance although it is a strong race” Gibbons said.

Gosford-trained gelding Fantastic Baby should break through in the Pacific National Maiden Plate (1200m). He has been runner up in his only two starts at Gosford. He will relish the spacious track and long straight.