By Glenn Davis
Trainer Kevin Hansen believes rejuvenated sprinter Casino Thoughts can overcome a massive weight to complete a hat-trick of wins at Callaghan Park in Rockhampton on Thursday.
Seven-year-old Casino Thoughts landed back-to-back wins for the fourth time in his career when he won a 1050-metre Open at Callaghan Park on August 29.
He will be shooting for his first hat-trick of his career when he steps up in distance to 1100 metres in another Open sprint.
Casino Thoughts has never won with more than 60kgs in his career, a weight he lumped to victory as a three-year-old in 2016 and at Yepoon in late July.
A son of Group 1 winning sire Casino Prince, Casino Thoughts was allotted a mammoth 62.5kgs in his bid to extend his winning record to 14 wins in 55 starts.
However, Hansen has moved to offset the big weight by engaging 1.5 kilo claiming apprentice Elyce Smith who replaces regular rider Justin Stanley.
“The weight is obviously a big concern but he’s going good and I think he can handle it and win again,” Hansen said.
“He’s never won three in a row before and he’s never won with this weight either but I think he can do it.”
Hansen, who has a small team of six horses in work, plans to send Casino Thoughts south if he’s successful.
“There’s no races for him here at this time of the year and weight has caught up with him up here,” he said.
“He’ll more than like go to Harold Norman on the Gold Coast after this run to finish his campaign.
“Harold trained another one of my old runners Lota Creek Gold and won four races with him.”
Hansen, 68, started training at Gladstone before spending 18 years at Ipswich, west of Brisbane.
“I trained at Ipswich from 1990 to about 2008 and had a few handy horses that won there,” he said.
“I was thinking about moving back to Rocky for some time but before I came back, I left Ipswich and had a go training at the Gold Coast for about 18 months but it wasn’t for me.”
Hansen has named the Garnett Taylor-trained Bold Xavvi as the main threat to Casino Thoughts.
Five-year-old Bold Xavvi failed to handle a heavy track when he last raced at Rockhampton on July 6 before a last start third to the Gary Doughty-trained Cabeirian at the Gold Coast on August 24.
Racing Queensland webnews September 17