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  • Provincial Racing NSW


NEWCASTLE’S gun apprentice Dylan Gibbons will ride at Saturday’s Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast.

It will be only the second time he has ridden in Queensland, and the first at a metropolitan meeting there as he aims to continue testing himself against the best.

Gibbons rode Gem Song for his boss, leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, at The Archer meeting at Rockhampton last April, and has six rides – four of them in $1m events - on Saturday’s mammoth 11-race program.

“I’m keen to ride at all the carnivals,” he said en route home from yesterday's midweek Warwick Farm meeting.

“If you want to be the best, you have to ride against the best.”

Gibbons clinched a maiden Group 1 triumph on Explosive Jack in the Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick last April during The Championships, and also had his first ride in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last November.

He has ridden 354 winners so far, including 39 this season, in a brilliant career already.

The opportunity to ride at the Magic Millions carnival arose when Explosive Jack’s trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace offered him the mount on Semana in the $1m Magic Millions Cup (1400m).

“I mentioned to Kris that I would like to ride there, and he gave me the ride on Animate in the 1300m MM Snippets (another $1m race),” he said.

“Then we picked up another ride from Ciaron and David (Unanimous in the $1m Subzero, 2200m), and I finished up with another three bookings.

“I’m really looking forward to riding on the new Gold Coast track, which has earned very favorable reviews.”

Gibbons’ other mounts are Cross The Rubicon ($1m F&M, 1300m), Constant Flight ($500,000 Country Cup, 1200m), and Rivana ($500,000 The Debut 2YO Fillies Plate, 1000m).

Constant Flight, who ran second, was one of four rides the young jockey had when he made his Queensland debut at Rockhampton on April 30 last year.

Rivana, a daughter of Capitalist, is trained at Newcastle by Rod Ollerton, and has trialled twice in preparation for her first start on Saturday.

She ran third in an 845m heat at Wyong on December 15, and again finished third in a 800m heat on the Beaumont track last Friday.

Gibbons had his first ride on Star Raider at Taree on July 28, 2020, and will conclude his four-year apprenticeship on July 27 near season’s end.

As a further step to competing at all the carnivals, he intends to relocate to Sydney to begin the new season in August.

“I’ll base myself there, and give it a red hot crack,” he said.

Story John Curtis, January 10, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos.

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