Vinery Stud stalwart Casino Prince sired his 24th individual black-type winner when Kiwi mare Casino Princess revelled in Heavy 8 conditions to claim the Tauranga Classic (LR, 1600m) on Saturday.

Trained locally by Cliff Goss, Casino Princess was appearing in Stakes company for the first time and the home-town crowd gave her a rousing reception returning to scale.  Jockey Jasmine Fawcett showed initiative sending her forward from an outside gate and the lightly-raced 5yo put the race to bed with another sprint coming off the home turn.

“Cliff sounded pretty confident so I knew she would be right in it given a good run,” Fawcett said.   “She’s probably one of the most beautiful fillies I’ve ever ridden and won very well today.”

Casino Princess is the penultimate foal of the Roger James-trained mare Sonsy (Thorn Park) who won at Te Rapa and Matamata.  There’s stamina right through the family going back to Melbourne Cup Champion Empire Rose (Sir Tristram).

“It’s so important to get black type and she earned a shot after a tough win at Rotorua last month,” Goss explained.  “I’ve just given her some pace-work with one gallop per week since then and she’s really improved.

“I wanted her to race handy because the track was pretty gluey and I didn’t think there would be many horses coming from the back.  Stakes races are very hard to win but I thought she could do it even when Jasmine was caught a bit wide from that draw.  She had to go forward but that didn’t worry me at all.”

A possible spring target for Casino Princess is the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at weight-for-age during the Hawkes Bay carnival in September.

Goss races the mare in partnership with good friend Darryl Heaphy and her strike-rate improved to 5 wins from 11 starts in a career that kick-started with a seven-length romp on a Heavy 10 at Tauranga in March 2022. She was sidelined for six months earlier this season but hasn’t been out of a place this prep.

Casino Prince was off to a flyer this this year when Casino Seventeen claimed the $1million Perth Cup (Gr.2, 2400m).  He’s built a remarkable record since retiring to stud with those 24 Stakes winners fronting a total of 441 individual winners at a 69% strike-rate.

Vinery stands Casino Prince (Flying Spur) for a $5,500 (inc GST) service fee with payment on a live foal.  For bookings or further information, contact Adam, Harry, McKoy or Peter on (02) 6543 8333.