Diamond Banner Drawn Ideally For Phil Davis

BARRY Gibbons Jnr will be out to continue the fabulous run being enjoyed by his kennel with Diamond Banner in Friday's Phil Davis Memorial.

Adam Dobbin

9 August 2020

BARRY Gibbons Jnr will be striving to continue the fabulous run being enjoyed by his boutique kennel when Diamond Banner takes aim at Friday night’s Phil Davis Memorial Final (535m) at Richmond.

A little less than a month ago, Gibbons tasted group 1 glory for the first time when Lilly Banner made a one act affair of the Peter Mosman Opal Final (520m) at Wentworth Park.

It was a watershed victory for the 46-year-old Cranebrook conditioner who has been in sublime form with the collar and lead landing wins with his past four starters.


“Everyone strives to win a group 1 so to do it was very satisfying – they’ve been calling me group 1 Blue at the track which is alright … I’ve been called worse,” Gibbons quipped.

At Richmond on Friday night, Gibbons rugs up Diamond Banner for the Phil Davis Memorial, the event staged annually to recognise the four decades of service the late veterinarian afforded the club.

And from an “ideal” box two draw, Gibbons is confident that the daughter of Dyna Double One will give a strong account of herself in the $7,500 to-the-winner final.

“She went 5.23 early last week winning her heat and if she runs that again you’d think she’ll look the winner a long way,” Gibbons said.

“It looks like the better chances are drawn wide in six and seven which means they’ll need to do the work to cross her or come from behind. If something strong gets right behind my bitch we might be in trouble. I’d say she can run 30.70 at Richmond.”

Last Friday night, Diamond Banner landed her heat by a length over Still Blue in 30.95 while the other qualifier was won by Scott Board’s hugely exciting Spring Barty in a slicker 30.76.

“Diamond Banner is completely different to her sister Lilly Banner,” Gibbons said.

“Lilly Banner loves the rough stuff and nothing phases her but Diamond Banner is a bit of a pussycat and lacks confidence. That’s why she loves Richmond with the wide open spaces – the few times she’s been to Wentworth Park she hasn’t done much on the tighter track and surrounds.

“I think she’ll be better for last week’s run and if she runs those sections again early she’s going to be in it for a long way. I give Neville Brown’s dog Nangar Kane a chance as well – he’s always hard to beat.”

Gibbons also heads to the races on Friday night with Mister Twister youngster Mister Boston, a stylish debut maiden winner at Richmond last week in 22.86.

“I was really impressed with him,” Gibbons said.

“It was his first start but the way he handled the experience you’d have thought he’d had 20 starts. Sometimes they can go to pieces on you but he took it all in his stride.

“He’s a professional race dog and I reckon he has a future. There’s a couple in the litter that are jets which haven’t started yet because of a few problems.

“I’m a big rap for Mister Twister at stud. This pup is out of Oren Ishii and we’ve just put her to Feral Franky. The line matches up really well.”