They’re tough the Casino Prince breed and that was demonstrated again when last weekend’s black-type winners Bandersnatch and Casino Seventeen were nominated to back-up for stronger assignments this weekend.
Bandersnatch was a clear-cut winner of the Doncaster Prelude (Gr.3, 1500m) at Rosehill confirming he’s capable of duplicating that dress-rehearsal in the $4million Doncaster Mile (Gr.1, 1600m) at Randwick this Saturday.
“It takes a good horse to win the Doncaster and it’s an even race to a degree this year,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said. “Bandersnatch is an impressive horse and he’s always been thereabouts. He has a light weight (51kg) and has drawn well in barrier five.
“He’s flying and just needs a decent run. And if it’s a bit wet, he likes that too.”
Bandersnatch (6g Casino Prince – Divine Faith by Falbrav) was bred by Penny Crowley and has repaid a $42,000 price-tag at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale banking $900,000 in prizemoney. His strike-rate of 10 wins in 34 starts includes Listed victories in the Carrington Stakes & Winter Stakes (Randwick) and Civic Stakes (Rosehill). It’s a quantum leap to the elite level in the Big Mile, however, bookmakers have him in the market at $19.
Over in Western Australia, Casino Prince sired his latest new Stakes-winner – the 23rd – when Casino Seventeen and jockey Willie Pike streeted the South-West Cup (LR, 2200m) by five lengths at Pinjarra on Sunday.
Casino Seventeen (5g Casino Prince – Tikal by Denman) is a widely-travelled galloper having raced in five States compiling a career-card of 7 wins in 28 starts while earning $384,000. He was a $9,000 Inglis Classic Sale graduate in 2019 from Amarina Farm and there’s another $150,000 at the judge in the Pinjarra Cup (LR, 2300m) next Sunday.
“To be honest, I was going to sack him when he first arrived over here but he’s doing a great job this prep,” co-trainer Grant Williams confessed. “Now he’s bouncing around like a sprinter instead of a stayer.
“He was unlucky last time in the Bunbury Cup but there was a genuine pace today and Willie kept him settled and covered. He will be 100% for the Pinjarra Cup and, all going well, we will then sit down and talk (to owner Andrew Latassa) about the Perth Cup.”
Casino Prince (Flying Spur) covered his 15th book earlier this season and he remains a favourite sire for owner-breeders at Vinery.