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  • Provincial Racing NSW


NEWCASTLE’S star apprentice Dylan Gibbons landed a couple of black type features last weekend in Sydney and Canberra.

Now his jockey father Andrew reckons it’s his turn to grab a share of the spotlight when Gosford on Saturday hosts the fourth Qualifier of the Provincial-Midway Championships.

Whilst young Gibbons’ victories were on stablemates Infancy in the Listed Fireball Stakes at Royal Randwick last Saturday and Almania in the Listed Canberra Cup a day later, the Gosford Qualifier doesn’t boast black type status.

Nonetheless Gibbons snr will be happy to snare the $150,000 event and ensure Karedada lines up for local trainer Angela Davies in the first ever $1m Final (1400m) at Randwick on April 13.

“I’m well overdue for a big race success,” Gibbons said as he looks forward with confidence to partnering the four-year-old on his home track on Saturday.

“I’ve had a lot to do with Karedada, and he’s a pretty smart horse.

“His two recent trials suggest he has come back even better.

“He will handle the 1400m of the Final without any problem, and I’m sure he will manage 1600m whenever Angela decides to step him up to that distance.”

Karedada, an $80,000 Inglis Classic yearling in 2021, is a gelded son of 2015 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) victor Wandjina.

He has raced only six times for four wins, and Gibbons has had a close association with him, riding the gelding in five of those races for three wins.

“I was on him when he failed in a Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m) at Randwick last May, but he had come to the end of his preparation,” he said.

“Nash Rawiller rode him when he resumed and won over 1250m at Canterbury in December, and Angela has aimed him at the Provincial-Midway Championships.”

Gibbons has been aboard Karedada in both recent trials, and has been very happy with how he has shaped in both.

The gelding won an 800m heat on the Beaumont track on February 28, and then finished third to Group 2 winner and dual Group 1 placegetter I Am Me in a 1045m heat at Randwick on March 7.

Gibbons has had four rides in Gosford’s Qualifier – the sole 1200m heat – since the annual series was introduced in 2015.

He has twice finished second, both times at the expense of leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, for whom Gibbons has ridden hundreds of winners.

He rode Wyong trainer Kim Waugh’s Newsfan when beaten by Serene Miss in 2018, and four years later was runner-up to Kinloch on Waugh’s Great News.

Coincidentally, both Serene Miss and Kinloch went on win the Final in their respective years.

And Gibbons hasn’t forgotten who rode Kinloch at Gosford two years ago. It was none other than son Dylan.

“I made my move wide on the home turn on Great News and Dylan followed me,” Gibbons said. “We hit the front and I thought we were home, but Dylan just got me in the last few strides.”

Gibbons also finished fourth on the Lees’ trained Bubbles Ball in Gosford’s 2020 Qualifier, which had to be transferred to Newcastle.

No prizes for guessing it was another Lees’ horse Asharani which won, but on this occasion Brenton Avdulla was the rider.

. HOOFNOTE: Twenty-four horses have been entered for Saturday’s Gosford Qualifier, which is for both eligible provincial and Midway-trained horses.

Sixteen horses can start, and there is provision for four emergencies should there be sufficient acceptances on Thursday morning.

The first two placegetters will join Territory Express, Willaidow, Tavi Time, Nosey Parker, Short Shorts and Convincebility, who have already qualified in Kembla Grange, Newcastle, and Hawkesbury heats.

Story John Curtis, March 12, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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