Trainer Angela Davies will join jockey Andrew Gibbons for the 100th time on Friday when the two travel to Port Macquarie to add two to their overall tally.
It’s no wonder Davies calls ‘Gibbo’ as her favorite jockey given her epic 27.3 percent win rate.
Gibbons himself has an 80 percent win/placement ratio on one of Davies’ Port Macquarie-tied team, Reggie’s Boy, competing in the Great Northern Crisp Class 1 Handicap (1200m).
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Gibbons has ridden Your Song’s son in all his five starts, including his first Muswellbrook win on January 4 and his three seconds, one behind eventual TAB Highway winner So Country.
Reggie’s Boy ticks many boxes except ‘Heavy’ and ‘Barrier’.
“He’ll probably come back a bit, he won’t go forward, but barriers make a difference for all horses,” said Davies.
“The State Railway will be the biggest problem, if it’s a tough 9 or 10 he probably wouldn’t go.”
At the risk of being drowned out by Davie’s description of him.
“He’s built like an Angus bull. He’s a very heavy horse,” she said.
Wherever Reggie’s Boy’s current campaign begins, despite Davies’ cautious approach, there’s every chance it will end in better races.
“I’d love to take him to 1400m+, that’s about as ambitious as I’ve set my mind to it. I think he will go further.
“If he can do 1400m that opens up a few other things for him.”
Gibbons’ 100th ride for the Provincial Championships Final winning trainer is Astern’s Girl, who had her first five starts as a member of the Mark Newnham line.
The daughter of Godolphins Golden Rose winner, Astern, cost $7.50 instead of $4.60 when she made her debut for Davies in Port on day one of the season.
Astern’s Girl took second place, but with big excuses.
“Bailey Wheeler dropped both reins at 150m and fell all over her neck and didn’t pick her up until the bird was gone,” Davies said.
Davies is of course keen to secure an early win on the board for the Capri Thoroughbreds Windani, who sent all the right signals eleven days ago finishing third in the Astern’s Girl race.
BALLERINA TO KEEP YOUR COMPETITORS ON YOUR TOES
Muswellbrook trainer Tim McIntosh is hoping his exciting ‘Rockhampton filly’ Sammiballerina can celebrate her sire Sebring Sun’s anniversary win, Rosebud, with a win of her own at Tamworth on Friday.
Sammiballerina is so far the star of her dad’s first generation, having challenged Rockhampton’s equivalent to the Golden Slipper in April.
Known as the Capricornia Yearling Sale Classic (1200m), the feature is only open to horses sold 12 months previously at the Rockhampton auction hosted by Magic Millions.
“One of my buddies owns them and bred them and he put them through the Capricornia Sale in Rockhampton with plans to go back and do this race,” explained McIntosh.
“It was a long term plan he had and it paid off for him.
“I broke her in here at home and then we sent her up and (trainer) Jamie (McConarchy) did a great job on her.”
Sammiballerina finished a distant third in her debut in a 1050m two-year-old girl at Rockhampton on March 22nd.
The experience, coupled with a stride at 1200m, resulted in Sammiballerina taking home the lion’s share of the $126,000 prize money.
“I think the 1200m suits her where she can have a kind of breather during the race,” said McIntosh.
“She’s not a sprinter through and through, but I think she has a chance there on Friday.”
Like Hong Kong idol Silent Witness, Sammiballerina was born and raised in Taree.
In her case at Glenthorne Park, home to 2016 winner of ATC The Rosebud (1100m), Sebring Sun.
Sammiballerina is out of a mare named Lyin’ Eyes, herself a daughter of Clarry Conners’ acclaimed 2400m mile artist Lawyer.
The filly has a second helping of stamina from her third dam, Dream Of The Dance, whose career high point was in 1994 in Group 2 VRC Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Sammiballerina drew well in Friday’s ‘Get Out Stakes’ and has the services of Matthew Palmer.
Palmer has the reins of McIntosh’s other runner on the Tamworth card, namely Neddy, who competes in the 1200m congratulations Maurice and Michelle Maiden Plate.
Neddy finished seventh in his only two starts, one on each side of a ban.
Neddy was all but knocked off his feet in a maiden 900m race at Scone on July 25, but Friday’s extra 300m and more will definitely help.
“He had a good rest and his first run was good. I think he has some future,” McIntosh said.
“He is according to the press release and they usually come over that type of journey (1400m) and Neddy seems to be that type of horse.
“He’s a good horse. He just needed a bit of time to mature, he just turned three years old.
“We weren’t in a hurry with him and just gave him time to mature and stuff like that.”
Originally released as Port Macquarie, Tamworth previews: Angela Davies and Andrew Gibbons on a quest to mark a milestone with a win