Five-year-old Casino Dancer has posted a big upset at Sandown this afternoon; completing a perfectly timed performance to beat Puccini in the dying stages of the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
Allocated the awkward barrier 13, Casino Dancer jumped well but was forced to settle within the field, off the pace of early leaders Slate On Edge, Jacquinot Bay and Worthy Cause who injected plenty of tempo into the race from the get-go.
Rounding onto the final straight wide and with plenty to do, jockey James Winks allowed the mare time to balance before asking for an extra effort; the pair charging forward and finding leader Puccini with only 200m to run and pulling half a length clear.
Winks delivered a perfectly-timed performance aboard Casino Dancer this afternoon was laid all the praise on the class of the mare.
“Full credit to the trainer and the horse,” Winks said.
“She gave me a good ride. I was three deep and a way back. She struggled down the hill a bit to be honest but when she balanced up she really hit it well for me.
“She only raced the other day, so she had to back up but had a good week and full credit to her.”
Casino Dancer is the only horse trainer Mick Van Gestel has in work currently, and the Hawkesbury-based horseman was understandably thrilled with her performance for success in the 2015 Eclispe Stakes; her second black type win in four starts.
“She’s been very good to us,” Van Gestel said.
“We were only going to be here for the short term – we were going to go home last Sunday and we decided to stay another week. It was worth staying.
“She was a late maturer so we’ve worked her a fair bit but she’s standing up in racing, and she’s just on fire at the moment.
“This week we just cuddled her, saved her and walked her. I was very confident today she would win.”
The 2015 Eclipse Stakes was Casino Dancer’s fourteenth start this time, and Van Gestel revealed condition will decide on whether or not she will progress to the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in Sydney in December ahead of a well-earned spell.
“I’m sure she’s due for a spell,” Van Gestel said.
“She’s going back tomorrow and if she gets home well and does well we’ll nominate her for the Villiers but certainly a spell is very close by.”
Punters who backed Casino Dancer to win the 2015 Eclipse Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au have been paid out on generous $13 odds!
2015 Eclipse Stakes Results
|1||11||CASINO DANCER||Mike Van Gestel||James Winks||–||13||54kg||$13|
|2||1||PUCCINI (NZ)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||0.75L||15||58.5kg||$12|
|3||6||WORTHY CAUSE||John Zielke||Luke Dittman (a)||2.5L||1||56.5kg||$8.50|
|4||3||JACQUINOT BAY||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||2.7L||9||57.5kg||$10|
|5||5||MALICE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3L||6||57kg||$4F|
|6||4||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||Damian Lane||4L||8||57kg||$26|
|7||17e||PLOT THE COURSE||Michael Trotter||Steven King||5L||10||54kg||$10|
|8||14||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||5.3L||5||54kg||$51|
|9||2||RUDY||Helen Page||Glen Boss||5.4L||12||58.5kg||$31|
|10||18e||DURNFORD||Quinton Scott||Jordan Mallyon||5.6L||16||54kg||$101|
|11||7||DIGITALISM||John Sadler||Mark Zahra||6.85L||2||56kg||$19|
|12||10||TRISTRAM’S SUN (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Vlad Duric||8.1L||14||54.5kg||$21|
|13||13||GARUD (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Ryan Maloney||8.6L||11||54kg||$21|
|14||12||SLATE ON EDGE||Brett Thompson||Dwayne Dunn||23.6L||3||54kg||$15|
|15||9||SCREAM MACHINE||Robert Smerdon||Chris Parnham||24L||7||54.5kg||$8.50|
|16||8||CALVIN WILLIAMS (FR)||Darren Weir||Kerrin McEvoy||26.75L||4||55.5kg||$26|