Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Gibbons glad to hit a home run

Graham Gibbons continued his fine start to the year when taking his tally to 11 winners within just three weeks with victory on Maypole Joe at Wolverhampton.

He resisted the temptation of going to the Far East for the second successive winter to try his luck at home and it is paying dividends.

Gibbons got Maypole Joe (4-1) off the mark at the 13th attempt as he defied top weight in the Get The Inside Track At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.

The David Evans-trained three-year-old made all of the running and bounded clear to win by two and a quarter lengths from Armada Bay.

“They were a bad bunch, but I made the best of my way home and I was pretty confident turning in,” said Gibbons.

“I went to Macau last year and I was going to go after Christmas, but I thought I'd see how things went. I'm doing well enough so there's no reason to go anywhere.”

Gerard Galligan enjoyed his first winner on the Flat when steering Michael Chapman's Monzino (12-1) to a seven-length romp in the Casino At coral.co.uk Handicap.

The Irish-born 7lb claimer has had two victories over jumps.

“That's my first winner on the Flat in three years. I rode two over jumps,” said Galligan.

“It's taken some time, but it's coming together now. He was down in grade and did it really well. The plan was to have him handy and kick on in the straight.”

Red Somerset registered his 18th career success, and seventh on this course, when running away with the Winners Love bookmakers.co.uk Selling Stakes.

The even-money favourite, trained by Mike Murphy, powered to a seven-length verdict over Jack Who's He in the hands of Kieran O'Neill.

“I've ridden him 12 times and won six on him and finished second in four,” said O'Neill.

“He's a horse every trainer wants in this grade.”

Danny Tudhope's tactics of always having Rapid Heat Lad |(13-2) up with the pace proved decisive as he guided the Reg Hollinshead-trained four-year-old to victory by a length and a half from Alborz in the coral.co.uk Handicap.

“I was told to be as handy as I can. I wasn't quite happy with the pace early on so I decided to take it up,” said Tudhope.

“I didn't want to turn it into a sprint and I wanted to make as much use of him as I could.”

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