One time Welshman Bradley Gibbs, now based in Hertfordshire, warmed up for what might be a memorable Friday evening at Stratford with a win in the less salubrious surroundings of Southwell this afternoon.
Tanit River, trained by Robbie Llewellyn in the Vale of Glamorgan, prevailed by 1 1/4l over the much vaunted Cat Tiger in the Join Southwell Golf Club Hunters Chase to give Gibbs his third winner of this fresh season, but 18th past the post under Rules or between the flags since October.
Gibbs has Premier Magic to look forward to in Friday's Hunters evening at Stratford, the most valuable collection of hunter chases anywhere in the UK calendar.
Gibbs is jocked up against Captain McGinley and Premier Magic in the pointtopoint.co.uk Champion Hunters Chase, aka the John Corbet Cup, whilst Premier Magic is also entered in the Pertemps Network Stratford Foxhunter Chase too.
It has to be said that if Premier Magic is to be considered a candidate for next year's Cheltenham Foxhunter, then winning either race is a must. The John Corbet Cup has spawned some excellent hunter chasers, including Harbour Court, winner of the United Hunts Challenge Cup, Garde Ville, winner of four hunter chases this term for Patricia Rigby and Now Ben, winner of 15 of his 24 Point-to-Points. Premier Magic's reputation is very strong, and going into the summer with one of these races under his belt would give spice to the countdown to next year's Festival.
The East Anglian season has taken such a hammering this past few months that to spawn a champion in our midst would be a great fillip.
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