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GUN Newcastle apprentice Dylan Gibbons’ first four-timer at none other than racing’s headquarters at Royal Randwick yesterday brought back memories for his proud father and fellow jockey Andrew.

Twenty-one-year-old Gibbons’ outstanding achievement lifted him to a two-win lead over currently suspended rival Zac Lloyd in the Sydney apprentices’ premiership, but ironically he also incurred a suspension after missing out by a whisker for what would have been a remarkable five for the day, on Phearson in the 10-race program closer.

It was virtually five years to the day (June 9, 2018) when Andrew Gibbons rode the first of his four career four-timers at Broadmeadow.

He had won earlier on The Big Vin ($3.80), Smart Melody ($3.20) and Nahuel ($2.70), and it was his fourth success on La Pont ($3.80) in a Benchmark 68 Handicap (1400m) in the final event that made it so much more memorable.

“La Pont was trained by Kris Lees, and Dylan strapped the gelding,” Andrew Gibbons recalled today.

“That was the first winner he strapped for me, so it was a pretty special result and fantastic to see him also ride his first four-timer yesterday.

“I’m very proud of him not only for the brilliant progress he is making in his career, but also for how he behaves in such a professional manner.

“Dylan is so keen to win this apprentices’ title, and was disappointed he made a slight error yesterday in shifting in on Phearson in the straight (causing another runner Yoshino to be checked near the 150m).

“Privately he was a bit down a week earlier at Rosehill Gardens when he rode a winner but had four seconds on a day when he thought he had a really good chance of landing a few winners.

“But we chatted about it, and I told him to keep doing what he was doing as he was riding well, and he kept his head up.

“Look what happened yesterday. A week isn’t a long time in racing!

“Even though he was suspended yesterday, he will still be at the track riding work for Kris (Lees) this week, along with of course his racing commitments before he begins his suspension.

“It’s part of the job and he is keeping focused. Dylan really looks after himself, and cooks his own meals.”

The race for the apprentices’ title is interesting indeed, and bookmakers cannot split Gibbons and Lloyd, and this afternoon had them $2 joint favorites with Tyler Schiller at $8.

Gibbons has ridden 60 city winners this season, Lloyd is on 58 and Schiller, who rode at the Stradbroke meeting at Eagle Farm yesterday, is a little off the pace on 53.

There will be a change to the present prices if Gibbons, who has a full book of rides at the public holiday meeting at Warwick Farm tomorrow, cuts loose with more winners and opens a bigger gap on Lloyd, who isn’t scheduled to resume riding until June 23 following two recent suspensions.

Gibbons begins his term on the outer on June 20 and returns 10 days later, and no doubt will be extra keen to make hay while the sun shines at three city meetings this week (tomorrow, Kensington on Wednesday and Rosehill Gardens on Saturday).

In his favour, he will miss only two meetings against main rival Lloyd; Royal Randwick on June 24 and the Kensington track on June 28.

Then it will be full steam ahead to the season decider at Royal Randwick on July 29.

Dylan Gibbons took his career tally to 300 yesterday, and is only a couple of wins shy of cracking a century for the second consecutive season, having tallied 116 the previous racing year.

*Words John Curtis – June 11, 2023 – Pics Bradley Photos*

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