Ardlethan Cup adds to Leandro Ribeiro’s remarkable run

Leandro Ribeiro and the Connie Greig-trained Gossip won Saturday’s Ardlethan Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

Leandro Ribeiro is simply at another level when it comes to picnic race riding. 

The Brazilian amateur hoop, who took up picnic riding in 2020, has ridden 39 winners at an astonishing 29% winning strike rate. 

In the 2021/22 season, the 37-year-old has taken his riding to another level, starting 34 times and registering 16 winners at a remarkable 47.10% winning strike rate. 

“It has been very good,” Ribeiro said. 

“I have been having a good season and hopefully I can keep it up and ride a few more winners.”

Ribeiro’s talents were on show at Ardlethan on Saturday, when guiding the Connie Greig-trained Gossip to victory in the Ardlethan Cup, while he also won on the Merv Rumble-trained Stone in the 1400m Class B Handicap, along with riding three more third placings on the six-race-program. 

“It was a very good day,” Ribeiro said. 

“I didn’t go (to Ardlethan) last year because I was suspended, and I thought it was pretty good and I really enjoyed it.

“The track was very good and very even all the way around and the horses went around well, and the crowd was really good.”

Ribeiro said Gossip, who ran second to Jin Chi Phantom in the Tottenham Cup on March 5, was better suited to the Ardlethan track. 

“I had no luck with her last start at Tottenham. I thought we would win the race there, but it is a very sharp track with a small 200m straight, and she was very unbalanced, and the other horse went away, and we couldn’t catch her,” Ribeiro said. 

“At Ardlethan, I knew she would win on Saturday, and up to 1600m and with the bigger track, I thought she would win, and we were able to get the result.” 

Ribeiro and Greig certainly boast one of the most successful partnerships in country NSW right now, and the leading picnic hoop was thankful to be involved with the Dubbo stable.

“We have been very lucky to be collecting many winners,” Ribeiro said. 

“Connie is a very good person to ride for; we get along very good together. 

“We think very much the same and everything seems to work out for us.”

Greig already holds a strong hand of 2022 NSW Picnic Champion Series contenders, and while Ribeiro certainly has the pick of the bunch, he said he would be guided by Greig when it came time to suiting up for the $50,000 final at Coonamble on October 9.

“To be honest, they are all very good and going well, but it is quite hard to say which one I like the most right now,” Ribeiro said. 

“I like Gossip and I like Valadyium, and Connie might have a couple more that she will try and qualify, and we will see how they all go.

“Plus, it is up to her which one I ride and I’m happy to work with her.” 

Greig and Ribeiro will team up at Tullibigeal on Saturday, and after they combined for a treble of winners in 2021, Ribeiro hopes more winners are in the offing. 

“I got three winners at Tullibigeal for Connie last year and hopefully we can repeat the same results,” Ribeiro laughed. 

“In the cup, she will be taking Equilibrium, Merdeka, and maybe Valadyium and right now, I don’t know which one I’ll be on until I speak with her.”

Readers wanting full results from Ardlethan can click here