Wilkes and Gibbons combine for Port Macquarie treble

Taree trainer Wayne Wilkes (left) landed three winners at Port Macquarie on Tuesday. Photo: Port Macquarie Race Club.

Taree trainer Wayne Wilkes and popular country jockey Andrew Gibbons enjoyed some success at Port Macquarie on Tuesday, with the pair combining for a winning treble at the Mid-North Coast meeting.  

Kicking off the day, odds-on pop Mischievous Molly ($1.35) proved too classy when winning the 1500m Maiden Plate before Outreach To Henry ($2) got home to win the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

“I went there confident, and I thought I’d get a couple,” Wilkes said. 

“Mischievous Molly; at her four starts, she had run three seconds and a third, and I was quite confident with her. 

“She still needed to do a few things right, but we were confident it was the right race.

“With Outreach To Henry; he was coming back from good Highway runs into a (Benchmark) 58, and we thought he’d go close.”

In the penultimate event, the duo brought up their treble, with Sumo Fish ($15) somewhat surprising punters when greeting the judge first in the 1200m Class Two Handicap. 

“With Sumo Fish, his win (at Taree) had a lot of merit, and his next run, he pulled too hard, but it had a heap of merit, too,” Wilkes said. 

“We tinkered with a couple of things, trying to get him to settle, and we went into it confident he would run a good race, but we didn’t expect him to win the way he did.”

It’s not unusual to see Wilkes and Gibbons teaming up for success, with their professional relationship going back more than two decades.  

“I’ve known Andrew since he was doing his apprenticeship in Sydney,” Wilkes said. 

“He was apprentice to Brian Guy down there, and I was working for (Brian) Mayfield-Smith and (Geoff) Doc Chapman.

“Then, when I first started training, he rode for me, and it’s been well over 20 years he’s been riding for me.”

Wilkes has been enjoying good results lately, with Razzama winning at Taree, King Kikau winning at Tamworth, and Sumo Fish winning at Port Macquarie last month. 

“You probably get more bad days than good days, especially with the roller coaster ride in this industry,” Wilkes said. 

“It’s a team effort, and it comes down to staff, vets, chiropractors, and they are all a part of it.”

The Taree yard will have two racing in town on Saturday. 

At Rosehill Gardens, Chase My Crown (Brett Pebble) has drawn the inside marble in the 1200m Class Three Highway Handicap, while the in-form King Kikau has Mikayla Weir in the saddle when jumping from gate 5 in the 2400m Benchmark 78 Handicap. 

“Chase My Crown has drawn barrier one, and we are very happy with how she is going into it, but we don’t need the track to get wetter,” Wilkes said. 

“I think King Kikau, at big odds, can run one hell of a race.”

Wilkes and his team will then focus on Monday’s meeting at Taree, with Theorizer and I Prefer Soul set to contest the 1614m Maiden Handicap. 

For all results from Port Macquarie on Tuesday, click here