Newcastle’s leading trainer and jockey Kris Lees and Andrew Gibbons are both enjoying a personal record-breaking season and the pair had a swag of winners on the weekend. Lees trained seven winners over the two days while Gibbons steered home six winners.
On Saturday Lees saddled up Ruling Symbol and Tycoon Street to win at Newcastle and Marawaka was successful at Mudgee. The Newcastle & Hunter Hall of Famer had a field day at Sunday’s Gunnedah Cup meeting training the winners of half the eight-race program.
Wandabaa, Miss Earth, Ultimate Power and Wisama were successful. Gibbons landed a double at Newcastle and he won four races at Gunnedah including the Cup on Present Tense. He also won on Wandabaa, Miss Earth and Ultimate Power.
With more than two months remaining in the current season Lees has trained 194 winners which places him fourth in the Australian Premiership in New South Wales he has saddled up 170 winners second only to Chris Waller.
Lees has surpassed his 2016-17 season which was his best ever with 191½ winners.
Gibbons season tally of 118 all in New South Wales has him in second place in his home state and Sixth in Australia. He has already surpassed his previous best season by 40.
A magnificent Autumn day and a good quality Saturday program was enjoyed by racegoers at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday.
Mitchell Bell rode three winners and Andrew Gibbons steered home two winners and three seconds. He was successful on Ruling Symbol and Lass Vegas, but it was Our Candidate, the one that got away.
“Ruling Symbol has always shown above average ability, but she has been disappointing. She was strong through the line today indicating the penny has dropped.
Las Vegas’ win was a surprise, but they got long at a good tempo and I sat back last and she gathered them in. Our Candidate should of won. We were in the box seat but because the tempo was slow it turned out to be a bad spot.
I tried desperately to secure a run behind the leaders in the straight for a long while but there was no gap. The horse was cruising and only needed clear running,” Gibbons aid.
Two Sydney trained three-year-old fillies were impressive in winning their respective races on Saturday.
Cottenham a daughter of the late great Redoute’s Choice came from last to win 1850m Maiden Plate. Trained by John O’Shea this filly has a bright future over the staying journeys.
Mark Newnham was rewarded for his patience when Aim For Perfection won a 1200 metre Maiden. The filly won five trials over an eleven-month period before her debut on Saturday. She came from back in the field to win easily running away.