IN Racing
Casino Princess chasing local crown for Goss
“It would be really good to win a race like this because she is a mare, and getting a bit of black print is pretty important."
Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | June 19, 2024
Casino Princess will contest the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic (1400m) on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Cliff Goss is looking forward to chasing a hometown feature in the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic (1400m) on Saturday with his consistent mare Casino Princess.

The daughter of Casino Prince earned a shot at the feature contest with a tough victory at Rotorua in May, her fourth success in just 10 starts alongside four minor placings.

“It was a good run and I think the jockey (Michael McNab) really won the race. He had her in a nice place, and got her home,” Goss said.

“I think she’s improved a bit since then, she’s just had one gallop per week on a Wednesday and does the rest of her pace work on the track there at Tauranga.”

Jasmine Fawcett has been engaged to ride the mare on Saturday, where heavy track conditions pose no concern.

“She begins really fast and I want her to race handy, because the track is going to be pretty gluey and I don’t think there will be many horses coming from the back. We just hope she can hang on from there,” Goss said.

“She just loves the heavy ground, she won her first start on that type of track at Tauranga by about seven lengths. That was only a maiden and this is a different class, but being really heavy won’t worry her.”

Goss purchased Casino Princess alongside close friend Darryl Heaphy as a yearling with her pedigree in mind, which would be greatly enhanced by a stakes-level performance.

“It would be really good to win a race like this because she is a mare, and getting a bit of black print is pretty important,” he said.

“She’s been a pretty good horse, she had ulcers in her stomach earlier on and she fought that off, then she bled, so she’s had a fair bit go wrong. She’s a tough mare.”

The issues that have disrupted the mare’s career so far make getting to the Tauranga Classic even more satisfying for Goss, and at 91 years of age, he doesn’t often get nervous for the bigger races these days.

“I don’t really get nervous anymore, I got over that when I was training in Macau for a few years,” he said.

“When you told the owners up there that their horse was going to win, it had to win so I’d be a bit nervous then. It’s quite nice just having your own horse.” 

Casino Princess Cliff Goss Casino Prince Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic Jasmine Fawcett