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Apprentices steal the show at Port

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Port Macquarie review, 18 May 2021

Dylan Gibbons
Dylan Gibbons. Photo: Rod Fuller

Riding doubles by promising apprentice jockeys, Jayden Barrie and Dylan Gibbons, highlighted a strong race card conducted at Port Macquarie on Tuesday.

Barrie commenced the day successfully when piloting the Hilary Dew trained mare, Rizzoli, to victory in the Prime 7 Maiden Plate after producing a well-timed run from the second half of the field in the early stages.

The grey gelding flashed down the outside section of the track to finish over the top of Glam Time and Double Award to score by a length margin.

The daughter of Shamus Award has always provided encouraging efforts in recent times and Dew’s patience was finally rewarded when breaking her maiden status after thirty six appearances.

The all the way victory by Hay John later in the program capped off a great day for Jayden when he was able to surge the John Cooper trained gelding straight to the lead and defy the late challenges of Impulse Control and Oh Say to score by a length,

The promising son of Magic Albert has greeted the winner’s circle on two occasions in seven appearances and looks set to provide Cooper with plenty of enjoyment in the months to come.

Not to be outdone, Dylan Gibbons was seen to advantage when scoring on Paxos Miss in the third event before riding From the Hip to victory in the final race on the card.

The popular hoop showed no sign of any discomfort after being dislodged from Robarge in a barrier trial at Tuncurry on Saturday when leading throughout on Paxos Miss and staving off the challenge of Galaxy Belle and Just Like Lisa to score a comprehensive victory.

The former Victorian filly is now in the safe training hands of Adam Duggan and the benefit of two barrier trials provided the necessary fitness for the daughter of Wandjina.

Gibbons had a real battle on his hands in the De Bortoli Wines Handicap when his mount, From the Hip, raced with Moonhawk for most of the event before the Philip Atkins trained chestnut filly was able to race clear and score by around a length.

The riding double sustains Gibbon’s successful season with an imposing tally of 57 wins and over a hundred placings for the popular claiming apprentice.

Golden Fantasy continued the great run of success enjoyed by evergreen local trainer, Margaret De Gonneville, when Golden Fantasy was able to arrest the lead from Pollard and the daughter of Dawn Approach raced clear to land the prize in the second event by just under two lengths.

Two Up was confidently supported in the Class 2 Handicap and the Dane Shadow gelding was able to race clear from Black Jacamar and survive the finishing effort of Lord Avatar to score a dominant victory.

Black Jacamar was taken to her customary role in the lead but found the extra distance too great a hurdle when claimed by Two Up in the run down the home straight.

It would not be a day of racing at Port without Allan Denham training a winner and Fantasy Eagle continued the imposing record with a strong victory in the John Oxley Motors Handicap.

Ashley Morgan made his move to challenge the early pacemakers, Honovi and Greenskeeper, before the Zacinto gelding powered away to land the prize and land some confident wagers in the process.

Racing was conducted under relatively fine skies with the track holding up well following the recent heavy rain and provided a competitive surface for the meeting.

The club greatly appreciates the continued support of De Bortoli Wines, John Oxley Motors, Great Northern, Schweppes, Fisher’s Plumbing Plus and Prime 7 in the successful staging of the program.

Racing continues at Port with a stand-alone fixture scheduled for Monday 31st May with a reminder about the Wauchope Cup program to be conducted at the track on Sunday 20th June.



I Survived was dispatched as ruling favourite with the John Sprague filly, Semifox, a very firm second elect while Double Award drifted a point late in betting and Rizzoli attracted some wagers at value prices.

Glam Time set the early tempo from Em’s a Cutie with Semifox moving around the field to be in a prominent position as Andrew Gibbons eased I Survived out of the early speed battle to be handily positioned behind the leaders.

Double Award was in the centre of the field in front of Rizzoli with the Hilary Dew trained grey mare, in front of The Lookdown and Boom Shaft as the field headed down the back straight.

Glam Time set a genuine tempo as the field moved down the side of the track from Em’s a Cutie with Semifox continuing to make ground around Double Award while I Survived commenced a move and Rizzoli hooked towards the outside section of the track.

Glam Time tried to lift in the home straight with Double Award making a move on the rails before Jayden Barrie made his run towards the outside on Rizzoli and bounded to the lead.

Rizzoli raced clear over the concluding stages with the daughter of Shamus Award breaking her maiden status in dashing fashion to score by a length from Double Award with Glam Time clinging on for third prize.

Semifox finished just behind the placegetters while I Survived wilted over the concluding stages to finish second last.


Golden Fantasy was the relatively solid favourite for the event with good support for Rubin and Sneaky Truths at each way prices while Pollard was on the fourth line of betting and did attract some confidence late in betting activity.

Golden Fantasy jumped well before being immediately headed by Pollard with Sneaky Truths moving into third position in front of Rubin and Dizzy Dan while Sippin Season headed the remainder.

Georgina McDonnell raced Pollard clear down the side of the course and the Robert Agnew trained gelding still had a handy lead when straightening for the run home over Golden Fantasy and Sneaky Truths with the others headed by Rubin and Sneaky Truths.

Jeff Kehoe made his move on Golden Fantasy at the two hundred metre mark and the Dawn Approach filly raced clear to continue the great recent record of Margaret De Gonneville with the local trainer landing the prize by just under two lengths from Pollard while Sneaky Truths held on for third place.


Paxos Miss was having her first start for Adam Duggan and was sent to the start as an easing favourite with Just Like Lisa heavily supported to land the prize while Flying Scotsman was a third pick from Galaxy Belle and drifted noticeably.

Flying Scotsman used the inside barrier draw to claim the early lead before being immediately challenged by Paxos Miss and It’s Friday with Hector Segoa and Galaxy Belle easing out of the early speed battle.

Just Like Lisa was content to sit back in the second half of the field on the inside of Inspiration while Fly Thing and Star of Joyce were back at the tail of the field and spotting the leaders some twelve lengths.

Paxos Miss claimed the front position before being pressured by It’s Friday and the pair swung the home bend in front of Flying Scotsman with Inspiration and Galaxy Belle commencing a move down the outside as Just Like Lisa began weaving a passage between runners.

Dylan Gibbons was able to repel the challenges on Paxos Miss down the home running with the daughter of Wandjina clearing out to score a comprehensive victory from Galaxy Belle.

Just Like Lisa was doing her best work late to claim third place in front of Inspiration and Hector Segoa while Flying Scotsman wilted late.


Black Jacamar drifted noticeably in the lead up to the event and just claimed favouritism despite the heavy support of Two Up with Lord Avatar a firm third choice from Eighth Immortal and a late move at longer odds for Lobban Leroy and Gin Runner.

Black Jacamar bounded to the early lead before being immediately headed by Beyond Mars with Two Up prominently positioned in front of Annie Pru and Paavo as Ash Morgan settled Lord Avatar just off the pace.

Gin Runner drifted a fair back in the early stages of the race with Lobban Leroy able to obtain a trail behind the gelding while Eighth Immortal was back at the rear of the field.

Beyond Miss was under the pressure as the field wheeled around the home turn before Black Jacamar challenged as Chad Lever made his move aboard Two Up and Lord Avatar warmed up to his task.

Black Avatar tried to lift but was no match for the finishing effort of Two Up with the David Atkins trained gelding scoring by just over a length from the finishing burst of Lord Avatar with Black Jacamar weakening out for the minor prize in front of Gin Runner and Lobban Leroy.


Impulse Control was the ruling elect for the event from Oh Say with Super Slick an easing third pick and Victorella attracting some confidence at longer prices.

Jayden Barrie drove Hay John straight to the early lead from Super Slick with Impulse Control handily positioned in third position on the inside of Fudginit.

Oh Say was camped in the centre of the pack and on the inside of Writeoff while Serg Lisnyy had Victorella back at the tail of the field on the inside of Sportsman.

Hay John set a solid tempo down the side of the track and still had a good lead as the field headed for home from Super Slick labouring in second position while Ashley Morgan tried to angle Impulse Control into clear galloping room and Oh Say commenced a run.

Despite the late challenge by Impulse Control and Oh Say, Hay John was able to maintain the lead and the John Cooper trained gelding ran his rivals ragged to score by around a length with Victorella warming up to her task late to finish just behind the placegetters.  


Racketeering was solid throughout betting and was sent to the barrier as ruling favourite with strong confidence around Fantasy Eagle causing Hidden Hills to drift noticeably.

Honovi was able to gain the ascendency over Sugar Zone with the Matthew McCudden trained gelding leading clearly as Greenskeeper slid up to third position on the inside of Fantasy Eagle.

Racketeering continued to make ground on the inside of Hidden Hills with the remainder of the field headed by Blinkin Snazzy and Karlu Dreaming.

The formation remained relatively unchanged before Honovi swung the home turn with a good lead from Greenskeeper with Ash Morgan making his move down the outside on Fantasy Eagle and Hidden Hills moving towards the centre of the track.

Fantasy Eagle swept up to Honovi over the concluding stages and the Allan Denham trained gelding cleared out to score a dominant victory with Racketeering making up many lengths to claim second while Hidden Hills seemed to put in a couple of rough strides down the home running and his effort to claim third was full of merit.

Greenskeeper seemed to have his chance and the Redoute’s Choice gelding finished just behind the placegetters in front of Blinkin Snazzy with Honovi yielding ground down the home running.

Race 7 – DE BORTOLI WINES BM 58 HCP (1100 M)

Moonhawk attracted the lion’s share of wagers and was able to claim the premier betting position with the weight of money causing From the Hip to drift to the second line of betting with Vendome and All About Charlie just under a double figure quote.

Sam Clenton began well on Moonhawk and the Jenny Graham trained gelding was able to race to the early lead from Supreme Diva before From the Hip charged up to apply pressure to the leaders.

Sparks began well and was steadied just off the pace on the inside of French Command with Zapluck, Lord Jaysea and Nombuso travelling in the centre of the pack and All About Charlie back in third last position.

Moonhawk and From the Hip continued to battle for the lead and the pair swung the home bend together from Supreme Diva with Sparks battling on well and Zapluck commencing a move towards the centre of the track.

From the Hip and Moonhawk continued their battle all the way down the home straight as the pair raced clear from Supreme Diva and Zapluck with Lord Jaysea weaving a passage between runners.

In the battle to the winning post, From the Hip was able to grind down Moonhawk with the Phillip Atkins trained gelding providing Dylan Gibbons with a riding double.

Lord Jaysea finishing on resolutely to claim the minor prize from Supreme Diva while Zapluck weakened over the latter stages.

Beat That came from a fair way back and did make ground down the outside while Vendome and All About Charlie failed to fire in the run towards the winning post.

Horses to follow

Just Like Lisa, Lord Avatar, Racketeering


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