Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons’ best ever start to a racing season continued on Saturday when he steered Gosford galloper Kotinos to victory the co-feature race at the second day of NJC’s Spring Carnival.
It was the 1400 metre Newcastle Nobbys and Kotinos, which has a habit of winning at long prices was a $31 chance. Gibbons had been successful on Kotinos in March when he let the former Victorian stride along well clear of the field.
On Saturday “Gibbo” again adopted daring tactics taking Kotinos to the front when the gates opened. Rival jockeys did not see the need to apply pressure to the winner during the race and they paid the price. After defying all challenges down the straight Kotinos won by a long neck from Paul Perry’s Marathon ($6) and Surjin ($3.80F) Gibbons is currently in eleventh place in the Australian Jockeys Premiership with 19 wins after only six weeks of the 2018/19 season. The Thornton boy was a happy man after the race.
“Everything went according to plan. I was worried about Kotinos running a strong 1400. He loves to bowl along up front and we didn’t want to be taken on.
That did not happen and after having a soft run in front he was tough all the way to the line. The day I won on Kotinos in March he led by four or five lengths. The horse relishes racing on the big track at Newcastle and he has won three from five here.
It has been a great start to the season, in fact my best ever. A couple of seasons back a career best 79 winners and I am hoping to at least match that. I have seven mounts at Taree tomorrow and five at Cessnock on Monday” Gibbons said.
Former Queensland mare Royal Hootenanny ran her rivals off their legs in the co- feature race the 900 metre Hurricane Stakes. The six-year-old mare is blessed with blistering speed and her apprentice jockey Ashleigh Borg bounced her out of the barrier and she outpaced a very fast field. The challenges came thick and fast in the last 100 metres, but the Hawkesbury mare held on.
Trainer Garry White has found the key to Royal Hootenanny after she came to his stable from Queensland in June. The mare has had four starts for three wins at Hawkesbury and Newcastle (2) and a close third at Warwick Farm.
The training partnership of Peter and Paul Snowden landed a double at the meeting.
California Concord a $13 chance was successful in the 1400 metre Maiden Handicap while Signore Fox ($4.40) came with a late run to snatch victory on the post in the 1200 metre Class 1 Handicap.