Welsh champion point-to-point rider Bradley Gibbs, 24, was in cracking form at the well attended Monmouthshire Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases at the Monmouth Showground on Saturday (March 30). He rode a four-timer bringing his season's total of wins to seventeen.
Bradley took the opening Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate race on the nine-year-old Captain McGinley which led two fences from home to score by three lengths the favourite Haven't Time partnered by Tommie O'Brien. Captain McGinley is owned by Adrian Simpson, John Griffiths and Beverley Thomas the West Wales Area hunt-racing secretary who also trains the horse.
Win number two came around an hour later in the Mens Open race when he worked wonders on Yeats Ace the only mare in the eight-runner field who got home by a length from the pacemaking and bold jumping Big Man Doe after making several untidy mistakes.
Then win number three came in the Restricted when he made all on 12-1 chance Tick Tock Ten, owned by John Chinn and trained by Pip Hooley who held on to score by half-a-length from Buffalo Sabre who was finishing second for the third time on the trot this season.
The Seven-Year-Olds And Over Open Maiden race was divided on the day and in the first division Bradley riding Claire Sherriff's eight-year-old Rio Bravo, runner-up to Corbett Court over the course on February 24th, went one better this time making nearly all to win by fifteen lengths from Keep It Simple. Backed from 2-1 to 4-6, Rio Bravo is trained by Bradley's father David Gibbs at Ynysbwl.
The second division of this race was won by the French-bred seven-year-old Cheltenam De Vaige, who under the legendary Will Biddick, scored by twenty lengths from Long Mile Road in some seven seconds slower than Rio Bravo had taken to win the first division. Cheltenam de Vaige's trainer Sally Randell, a former National Hunt amateur rider of note, was delighted with her charge's success and asked what he thought of the course, Biddick replied: "Well, after that win I cannot fault it."
Twelve runners went to post for the Four, Five And Six-Year-Olds Open Maiden over two-and-a-half miles and the Vale of Glamorgan's Isabel Williams riding Getaway Flyer, owned by Roger Willcox and Bill Corrigan, took up the running six fences from home to win by two-and-a-half lengths from the grey four-year-old Getaround who was making his racecourse debut. "She jumped for fun." said Isabel, 21 and Bridgend builder Willcox admitted to having "a nice bet" on the six-year-old mare who was beaten in a close finish at Llanfrynach a week earlier.
In the Ladies' Open Race, Hannah Lewis riding Mr Will Gaskins' TB Broke Her, at nine the youngest and only mare in the race, led two fences out and went on to win by twenty lengths from the Roger Willcox owned and trained PatrickTom Boru partnered by Jodie Hughes.
Intermediate: Captain McGinley (Bradley Gibbs) 7-2
Young Horse Maiden: Getaway Flyer (Isabel Wiliams) 7-2
Men's Open: Yeats Ace (Bradley Gibbs) 2-1 fav
Ladies Open: TB Broke Her (Hannah Lewis) 9-2
Restricted: Tick Tock Ten (Bradley Gibbs) 12-1
Aged Maiden Div 1: Rio Bravo (Bradley Gibbs) 4-6 fav
Aged Maiden Div 2: Cheltenam De Vaige (Will Biddick) 4-1