Gibbs hoping for hometrack boilover

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  • August 18, 2023
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By Aidan Rodley, LOVERACING.NZ Racing Desk

A lucrative payoff awaits connections of Belardo filly Vita Amorosa if the Chris Gibbs-trained three-year-old can cause a major upset in Saturday’s Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.

Vita Amorosa was beaten 19 lengths on debut earlier this month, chasing the unbeaten Crocetti, who couldn’t have been much more impressive in winning by 4-1/2 lengths.

Crocetti is the TAB’s $2.30 second favourite for the first three-year-old stakes race of the season behind the Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained Trobriand at $2.

Vita Amorosa is a $51 outsider but Gibbs is happy to give his filly the chance of causing the boilover.

“There are five maidens in it and we’ve drawn well. If we’d drawn wide, I probably wouldn’t have started,” Gibbs said.

“She just got a bit lost, that first race. She drew wide and it just didn’t happen for her. She was all over the place. But mentally and physically, she’s improved since the run, especially mentally.

“She was either going to go one way or the other, so I’m really pleased she’s gone the positive way. She didn’t really learn anything the other day but drawn so well in a $100,000 Group race, I thought, why not give her a chance?”

Gibbs bought Vita Amorosa for $50,000 as a yearling at Karaka last year almost by chance. He was walking past Trelawney Stud’s hospitality area when he was approached by Trelawney’s Cherry Taylor, suggesting he look at the filly, who had just been passed in.

“She was quite athletic and you can’t fault the pedigree. I quite liked the filly, so I bought her,” said Gibbs, who has retained a share.

“She’s a half-sister to Antonio Lombardo, the Group One horse of Peter McKay’s, so if she could sneak into third on Saturday, it would make her quite a valuable filly. If she could run a place, I’d be pretty happy.”

Masa Hashizume will take the ride on Saturday and Gibbs is looking forward to her getting cover and a more economical run from barrier two.

“At the very least, she’ll learn something this time. She’ll get to the fence and get in amongst the field,” Gibbs said.

“I know that sounds a bit crazy to be running in a race of this calibre and saying she’ll learn something, but you may as well be running for $100,000 and learning something than running for nothing at the trials for the same goal.

“We’ll all learn something on Saturday – the owners, me and the filly. It’s hard to plan anything too far ahead because this one is really just a throw at the stumps.”

Gibbs has 10 runners entered for Saturday’s meeting, four of those late entries when fields were light on numbers at nominations time.

He supplemented Diamond Girl and Ever So Easy to the Harcourts Whangarei 1400, the feature sprint, when that field lacked numbers.

“They are both thrown in the deep end. They are way out of their class but there’s no Dragon Leap in there and 1400m will suit both of them so I thought I’d throw them in and they can always drop back to a Rating 75 race at Te Rapa the following weekend,” he said.

“I’m really happy with them both and they’ll both appreciate the extra distance.”

Gibbs holds a strong hand in the Harcourts Just Rentals 2100 with Chevron, who has finished second in his last two starts, and Cakebytheocean, who was hitting the line well for fourth last start.

“It’s a tidy field but my pair are going well. We just wanted to claim on Chevron and this fits well for the open race at the next meeting here. Cakebytheocean’s run the other day was good but he raced like a horse looking for more ground and he gets that here,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs’ other entries are Malfy Rosa and Narince in the Entrain – NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1600m), Pure Delight and Canyoulovemeagain in the Harcourts Supporting North Haven Hospice (1600m) and last-start winner On The Wall in the Champion 2yo Sword Of State (1300m).

“We’d had a few behavioural issues with On The Wall but, touch wood, we’ve remedied that and from that last race to this one, he’s improved again. He’s in a great headspace and he’s drawn beautifully,” Gibbs said. – LOVERACING.NZ Racing Desk

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