You would be hard pressed to find any silver lining to the Covid-19 cloud but the aptly-named Lockdown Gamble may be one for Mudgee trainer David Smith and the horse’s owner, Terry McDonald.
The unraced son of Casino Prince makes his debut at Warren on Tuesday with high hopes of a bold showing off his trial win at Coonamble on June 20 with Jake Pracey-Holmes in the saddle.
“He was pretty impressive,” Smith said.
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“It was only a Coonamble trial and I’m not sure what was in it but it was just the way he went about it.
“Jake said he was just floating about everywhere – looking left and looking right – and Jake just said that he had to give him just one little slap down the shoulder to concentrate and even when he did that, he was straight back on the bridle and travelling extremely well.
“It’s only his second prep, he is still extremely new to it all and did a lot wrong through that trial but what we saw there, he possesses a good bit of natural ability and it is just going to take him a long way.
Casino Prince, sire of Lockdown Gamble. Photo: Courtesy of Vinery Stud websiteSource:The Daily Telegraph
“I am extremely excited to see how he goes, he looks a little bit above average.
“I don’t think the heavy track would worry him. He seems to get through it in trackwork and that Coonamble track was pretty gluey so I think he should be right.”
Smith’s excitement about Lockdown Gamble’s impending debut is shared by his owner, Terry McDonald.
“Terry owns him outright,” Smith explained.
“Terry went and saw him just before the first lot of lockdowns came in right back with the coronavirus first hit.
“He said he was taking a gamble going into a horse on his own for the first time so in the midst of lockdown, he just put the two together and came up with the name.”
Smith has a second red-hot chance headed to the so-called ‘Randwick of the West’ on Tuesday in the shape of Bandahara.
Few, if any horses racing at Warren can equal Smith’s galloper in the breeding stakes given that he is by Fastnet Rock out of a stakes-winning daughter of AJC Oaks winner, Danendri.
“Bandahara loves the wet, he’s got flippers on his feet.” Smith said.
“He never let down for us at Dubbo but hopefully the quick back-up will work for him.
“He finds another winnable race there at Warren.”
HE MAY BE RISING 11 YEARS OF AGE, BUT BOY DOES HE LOVE TO RACE
Benno’s Boy, the veteran gelding who just loves to compete, just might be the best advertisement for country racing.
There was the rising 10-year-old lining up for his 183rd start at Wagga Wagga on Monday – and he won!
This was Benno’s Boy’s 20th career win and took his earnings to nearly $300,000 which is a remarkable return for a horse who has done all his racing in the bush.
When Benno’s Boy started racing, Tony Abbott had just replaced Julia Gillard as the nation’s Prime Minister.
Both have since left politics but Benno’s Boy is still going strong under the training of Michelle Borserio and was able to win at Wagga Wagga just 24 hours after running second at Gundagai.
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Under the rules of racing, Benno’s Boy can continue racing until the end of his 12-year-old season and in his present form, there is no thought of retirement.
There are similar stories of equine longevity in country racing – take a look at some of the runners in the Benchmark 58 Handicap (1400m) at Warren on Tuesday.
Among the starters is Lucky Elixir, who turns 11 on August 1, and is about to contest his 73rd race. He’s won seven races and nearly $200,000 for connections already.
Then there is Pittsburgh, the tough seven-year-old, who has already started in 66 races, winning six and earning $166,000.
If third emergency Royal Abbey can gain a start – he needs two more scratchings – then he will be lining up in his 87th race. He’s only won three races but given his owners plenty of thrills along the way and nearly $100,000 prizemoney in the bank.
Lucky Elixir, Pittsburgh and Royal Abbey might struggle to win at Warren but you know each horse will be trying their hardest. Like Benno’s Boy, they just love to race.
Originally published asWarren preview: Lockdown worth a Gamble on debut
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