Past Winners » Gibb River


Gibb River was always just struggling to hold his position on good ground over two miles at Aintree on his last run, Jerry McGrath was having to niggle him along from early on, he got squeezed out as they turned out of the home straight first time, and he was left much further back than ideal. He was no better than 14th as they began the turn out of the back straight, he was caught in traffic at the third last hurdle, but once switched to the inside of the track coming to the final flight he flew home to snatch third on the line.

Nicky Henderson’s horse looked like an exciting handicap hurdler at the start of the season, most notably when he ran a really promising race in just going down narrowly to Ubi Ace and Via Galilei at Sandown in a listed handicap hurdle at the start of December. He is only 5lb higher today than the mark off which he ran there, he has run two eye-catching races out of three since then (the very slow pace in the Ladbroke at Ascot on his other run would have been all against him), and he finally steps up to two and a half miles today.

The ground shouldn’t be a problem for him, he won his three novice hurdles on easy ground last season, he ran well with ease in the ground a couple of times on the Flat, and conditions today should really bring his stamina into play. Jerry McGrath keeps the ride today and he can claim 5lb which is very valuable in today’s ground, especially off a high weight, and Nicky Henderson’s horses continue to be in fine form.