Casino Prince kick-starts 2018-19

Casino Prince moved off the mark this season with a 15-length winning double on either side of the Tasman.

The Vinery sire was represented by 104 winners in Australia during 2017-18 and Super Swoop kick-started another expected century this season when she strolled home by 5 lengths at Morphettville for trainers Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas.

Casino Prince was credited with a lone winner in New Zealand last term and he equalled that score when English Gambler bolted in by 10 lengths at Tauranga.  “That was quite impressive,” trainer Lauren Brennan said after the Ultimate Motor Group 1600.  “But I didn’t expect him to win by that much.”

English Gambler had been runner-up in his first two starts at Avondale and Te Teko.  “It was a good effort going from 1200m straight to a mile.  We knew in the back of our minds he wanted more ground and he might be a nice 2000m horse in time.  Jonathan (Riddell) has done all the work at home…he peeled off in the straight and dealt to them.”

Vinery sold him for $34,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions National Sale to Singapore trainer Stephen Gray acting for stable client Paul Hickman.

Brennan specialises in pre-training for the Singapore and Hong Kong markets.  Born in Bulls, she was employed by Godolphin in California and Dubai and worked the likes of Street Cry and Cape Cross before returning home to train at Cambridge.

English Gambler’s dam Christmas Day (Zabeel) only had one prep with Kris Lees winning over 1750m at Muswellbrook.  She is a three-quarter-sister to Reset and her latest foal is an All Too Hard filly born in NZ last October.

Brennan is looked forward to winning more distance races with English Gambler instead of losing him to Singapore.  “Hopefully, we can keep him because he’s limited in terms of race options up there for stayers.  And the way he accelerated at the top of the straight was so impressive at Tauranga.”