IN Racing
Casino Princess confirms potential with stunning Matamata victory
Lightly raced three-year-old filly Casino Princess lived up to her trainer’s high expectations at Matamata on Friday.
NZ Racing Desk | May 15, 2022
Photo: Kenton Wright - Race Images

Lightly raced three-year-old filly Casino Princess lived up to her trainer’s high expectations when she came with an undeniable late burst to win over 1400m at Matamata on Friday.

Prepared by the remarkable 90-year-old Cliff Goss from his Tauranga base, Casino Princess was tackling rating 65 company for the first time after delivering a comfortable seven length maiden victory on her home track at just her second start in late March.

Goss had been confident of a good performance after the filly had excelled in her Tuesday track gallop, however when rider Elen Nicholas found herself pocketed between runners in the home straight with a lapful of horse under her, Goss thought her chances were gone.

To the delight of punters who had installed her as the $2.50 favourite, Casino Princess found clear air at the 100m and drove between runners to get up and register her second win from just three starts.

“I think she could be a pretty good horse as there aren’t many who can win at that level immediately after their maiden victory,” Goss said.

“I was pretty confident she would go well as she had come home her last 600m in 34 seconds in her final gallop and did it on her ear.

“I said to Elen to just see if she could get her one-off the fence behind the pace and she did a good job of that, but when she was cluttered amongst them in the straight, I thought she was no chance.

“The thing about this filly is that she is very determined and she doesn’t give in so when she saw the gap, she took it and stretched out really well over that last bit.”

Despite winning her maiden on a Heavy10 surface, Goss is convinced his charge isn’t a wet track specialist and will now send her out for a spell before bringing her back for a spring campaign where he hopes she can pick up a victory at stakes level.

“I don’t think she really handles bad ground, so she is heading to a nice paddock at Trelawney Stud tomorrow for a break,” he said.

“She will strengthen up some more and I think she is good enough to get some black type in the spring if she can keep progressing the way she has.

“I’m not going to rush her and putting her away now will do her the world of good.”

Despite Casino Princess heading for a break, Goss won’t be slowing down anytime soon as he has another promising maiden in his care that he is keen to see get to the racetrack next month.

“At my age if you slow down you are on your way out, so I’ve got a lovely Iffraaj three-year-old in work that I hope to get to the races in the next few weeks,” he said.

“He won nicely at the Cambridge trials last month and is coming along well.

“I think he can gallop a bit so I’m hoping to give him a start at Matamata next month.

“He probably doesn’t want it too deep either but once he has had a run, we might put him out, which will suit nicely as Casino Princess will be coming back around the same time to get ready for the spring so I will have my hands full.”

Casino Princess Cliff Goss Elen Nicholas Trelawney Stud