If Dylan Gibbons has learned anything in his burgeoning riding career it is to make the most of every opportunity, even a fortuitous one.
In that vein, the star apprentice is thrilled to be reuniting with three-year-old Celestial Legend in the Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, picking up the plum mount after Nash Rawiller was suspended on a careless riding charge last weekend.
“It’s through Nash’s suspension, but it’s great to be the one to pick up the reins again,” Gibbons said.
“That’s how you get going and you can build momentum, by taking these opportunities when you get them. There are plenty of other people they could have called up too.
“You’ve got to look at it as a positive and hopefully grab it with both hands and make the most of it.”
Gibbons did just that when he partnered the Les Bridge-trained colt in May, steering Celestial Legend to a promising Rosehill win at the horse’s second start.
Senior rider Kerrin Mcevoy linked with the three-year-old for his two spring runs, including a closing second to subsequent Group 1 winner Ozzmosis in the Heritage Stakes (1100m), before racing’s swings and roundabouts landed back on Gibbons.
The young hoop says Celestial Legend has made a strong impression on him and with Bridge having adopted a patient, long-term approach with the horse, Gibbons is looking forward to finding out what the colt has to offer at Randwick.
“When I won on him, he was very raw, but he did it easily,” Gibbons said.
“He had the ears pricked and he was still nowhere near the fully furnished horse you’d think he will be.
“That’s what excited me, the unknown improvement in him, and he looks to have strengthened up and come back a better horse again.
“They have given him the two light preps, the trainer and connections have done the right thing by him, so hopefully they get the rewards now.”
The field for the Group 3 sprint has been reduced to seven with the scratchings of Flying Trapeze and Scully, who will both run in Melbourne over the weekend.
However, in a measure of the competitiveness of the race, none of the runners are over $7 with first-up winner Caballus narrowly holding market sway at $4.80, while Celestial Legend and lone filly Makarena are the ‘outsiders’ at $7 apiece.
– RAS NewsWire