Gibbons has Time pencilled in for wet track victory

Tavi Time will bid to emulate the feat of stablemate Rustic Steel by winning Gosford’s richest race.

Jockey : Dylan Gibbons.
Jockey : Dylan Gibbons. Picture: Steve Hart

Describing a horse as having the body shape of a pencil might not sound like high praise, but Dylan Gibbons believes it will be an advantage for Tavi Time when he steps out on a heavy track at Gosford.

Gibbons has a theory that thoroughbreds with a lither frame cope better with testing conditions and Tavi Time fits that bill.

"I'm a believer that the leaner, lighter horses seem to skip through the ground better because they don't get in as deep," Gibbons said.

"If you see him in the yard, he is shaped like a pencil, so I think he'll skip through it."

Gibbons' notion will be put to the test on Saturday when Tavi Time tackles the $500,000 The Coast (1600m) at Gosford where the track is rated at the extreme end of the spectrum as a heavy 10.

The four-year-old's only other start in similar conditions was at his debut when he made up many lengths from back in the field in a 1200m race at Kembla Grange.

He has won three of his five starts on soft ground, including a 6-1/2 length romp in the Mudgee Cup (1600m) in December, and Gibbons is hoping the horse has more luck than he did when fifth to Territory Express in the Provincial-Midway Championships Final (1400m) last start.

The plan was to find a midfield position with cover from Tavi Time's wide draw but when he was slow to jump, Gibbons found himself back in the ruck and forced to ride for luck.

"I took the chance, it just didn't set up for him, but he still ran tremendously well to run fifth," Gibbons said.

"He was near the winner in the run, and it's got an exceptional turn of foot."

Trainer Kris Lees has followed an uncannily similar path with Tavi Time to the one he took with 2022 The Coast winner Rustic Steel and Gibbons says that is no coincidence.

The latter finished fourth in that year's Provincial-Midway Final before claiming the rich Central Coast feature at his 12th start.

Not only does Tavi Time come through the same race, he lines up for start number 12 on Saturday.

"Kris knows what he's doing. He doesn't normally like to make up the numbers in these big races so he is there for a reason, and it probably isn't the strongest edition either," Gibbons said.

"He gets a weight drop from his run in the Provincial-Midway Final so that will aid him as well."

Tavi Time is among a full book of 10 rides for Gibbons at Gosford where his mounts also include Group 1 placegetter Stefi Magnetica in the Takeover Target Stakes (1100m) and enigmatic mare Verona in the Gold Cup (2100m).