Casino Prince emerged from the shadows of his younger and more fashionable barn-mates on the Vinery Stud roster when Casino Seventeen won the $1million Perth Cup (Gr.2, 2400m) at Ascot on New Year’s Day.

Casino Seventeen banked $575,000 for owner Andrew Latassa, which was his sire’s best pay-day since Sweet Deal earned $580,000 for her win in the 2020 The Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle.

“I told Andrew we would set him for the Perth Cup back in April after he won the Pinjarra Cup,” co-trainer Grant Williams said.  “To be honest, I was going to retire him when he first arrived over here twelve months ago but he’s a different horse now.”

Williams and his wife Alana were winning their fifth Perth Cup but first since splitting with Peters Investments owners Bob and Sandra Peters.  Their combination with Willie Pike was just as effective on Monday when the champion jockey lifted the widely-travelled galloper to a narrow victory over Be Optimistic (Blackfriars).

“We just kept getting shuffled back in the field but I was lucky enough to get a good run through them from 700m onwards,” Pike recounted.  “It was probably too good because we got there way too early.  Luckily, I had the right horse and trainers to back me up.”

Casino Seventeen firmed into a $2.50 favourite after dropping 6kg to the Perth Cup minimum of 53kg following his last-start third in the Ted van Heemst Stakes (Gr.2, 2100m) at Ascot on December 23.

The 6yo stayer is one of 23 Stakes winners by Casino Prince and made $45,000 to the bid of Lloyd Kennewell at the 2019 Magic Millions 2YO Sale.  Before heading west, he was runner-up in the 2021 Adelaide Guineas (LR, 1600m) and followed up with further placings during a trek to the Top End in the Darwin Guineas (1600m) and NT Derby (2050m).

Casino Seventeen was bred by Bearami-based Kirks Bridge Farm owner Grant Briscoe from Darley-bred mare Tikal (Denman).  Briscoe retained her 2yo filly Husk (Calyx) and she was placed on debut for Team Hawkes at Warwick Farm a fortnight ago.

Casino Prince (Flying Spur) covered his first book at Vinery in 2013 when the roster was ruled by More Than Ready (USA), Mossman and Testa Rossa.  He’s still popular with broodmare owners who breed to race and, at last count, the ASB had him covering 44 mares at a $5,500 (inc GST) service fee in the season just gone.