Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons’ best-ever start to a racing season continued on Saturday when he steered Gosford galloper Kotinos to victory in the co-feature race, on the second day of the Newcastle Jockey Club’s Spring Carnival.
It was the 1400-metre Newcastle Nobbys Benchmark 70 Handicap and Kotinos, which has a habit of winning at long prices, was at $31.
Gibbons had been successful on the horse in March, when he let the former Victorian stride along well clear of the field.
On Saturday, “Gibbo” again adopted daring tactics, taking Kotinos to the front when the gates opened.
After defying all challengers down the straight, Kotinos won by a long neck from Marathon and Surjin, both trained by Paul Perry.
Gibbons is currently in 11th place in the Australian jockeys’ premiership in wins after six weeks of the 2018-19 season.
The Thornton boy was a happy man after the race.
“Everything went according to plan,” he said.
“I was worried about Kotinos running a strong 1400. He likes to bowl along up front, and we didn’t want to be taken on.
“That did not happen, and after having a soft run in front, it was tough on the way to the line.
“The day that I won on Kotinos in March, he led by four or five lengths.
“The horse relishes racing on the big track at Newcastle, and he has won three from five here.”