Last year’s Cheltenham Foxhunters winner Porlock Bay put his reputation on the line against the 2021 Dudley Cup winner Premier Magic in the Men's Open at Chaddesley's Harkaway fixture earlier this week.
Bradley Gibbs was content to let Complete Sizing cut out the donkey work and the latter was still in front with half a mile to run but both Porlock Bay and Premier Magic were primed to launch their attack which Biddick and Gibbs did up the final hill.
There was little between the three horses at the 16th, but approaching the final bend Premier Magic and Porlock Bay quickened clear and made their bid for glory with both jockeys firing their horses into the penultimate.
Premier Magic held a narrow advantage approaching the final obstacle but Porlock Bay quickened into the fence and started off up the run in with a slender lead but Gibbs forced his mounts head in front again approaching the line to claim a length victory.
Gibbs indicated later “We knew we were up against it coming here, but Magic has improved so much in recent weeks, so I was not afraid of anything and was feeling confident”.
Earlier in the afternoon Gibbs had instigated the first leg of a double aboard Fier Jaguen in the Restricted, who also carries the colours of Julian Sheriff.
The winner led from flag fall before both Bon Calvados and Latenightfumble made short lived efforts on the climb into the home straight. Gibbs was able to take a dismissive glance round because his rivals could never get the winner out of his comfort zone and the 6-year-old kept up his relentless gallop to prevail by 10-lengths.
The Men’s Title race is beginning to take shape with Bradley Gibbs, Will Biddick and Tommie O’Brien vying for the lead in this year’s title race and both Biddick and O'Brien also scored at the fixture.
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