Gibson bags pair of winners
Owners Doug and Mary Gollan have won races at both ends of the country in the past three days.
The Maitland dairy farmers triumphed with Maitland Grey and High Rise at Winton yesterday and enjoyed the win of their Auckland Cup nominee, Dark Bishop, at Ellerslie on Saturday. Gore's Gary Gibson trains Maitland Grey and High Rise.
Bachelor Duke gelding Maitland Grey won the Water Force and Mitre 10 Maiden at his 24th start. High Rise is on the market but if no sale eventuates, Gibson will gladly continue training him.
''He's a nice type of Thorn Park and should carry on,'' Gibson said after High Rise took out the Travellers Rest Tavern Maiden.
Going into yesterday's Winton Jockey Club meeting, Gibson thought he had not trained winner since Babette scored at Winton in November, 2010. The horseman cut numbers in his stable six years ago, reducing from 30 to 10 or less. Four of the eight in training raced yesterday.
''The more horses you have, the more staff you need and it's hard to get good staff,'' Gibson said.
He has combined training with work at the Mataura meat plant for about 30 years. Some of his best winners have been Arch Rival (Grand National Hurdles), Sopherim (Invercargill Gold Cup), Dazzling Belle (Welcome Stakes, Champagne Stakes) and Mick Ronald ($20,000 Riccarton sprint).
Sopherim posted 13 wins for Gibson, while 14 of Mick Ronald's 15 wins were from the trainer's stable.
Mr Kirk chalked up his first win when taking out the Aqua Salon and Spa Maiden.
It was his third start for the season and he won convincingly with Chris Johnson in the saddle. Mr Kirk's racing last season was hindered by a training mishap, in which he crashed into a wooden strainer post.
The former North Island-trained gelding is raced by the 10-strong Car Park Drinkers Syndicate. They have had five or six horses with Mr Kirk's Knapdale trainer, Ellis Winsloe, in the past 11 years. Their best winner, Amazing Charm, won the Wairio (two), Invercargill and Riverton Cups.
Luv Da Bling capped consistent form with a win in the Harcourts Real Estate Handicap.
Isla Bank trainer Kerry King took over training Luv Da Bling in the autumn after the mare had won a maiden race at New Plymouth. Seven starts for King, have produced a win, a second, a third, two fourths and two fifths.
''She's a lazy trackworker, come to the races and she tries,'' King said of Luv Da Bling.
Quoin, winner of the Justice Prevails At Phuttocks End Stud Maiden, is raced by Wyndham dairy farmers Rod and Denise McKenzie.
The couple bred Quoin from Medico Miss, whom they borrowed.
''I had a free service (to Quorum),'' Rod McKenzie said
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