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Casino Star Throws The Dice At Country Championships

Her big brother is an equine millionaire, but for Casino Star it’s just step-by-step as she works towards her possible major goal – the Country Championships.

Casino Star was an impressive winner in maiden grade on January 4 and will stay at 1175 metres for the Benchmark 54 at Albury on Thursday. The four-year-old is only lightly-raced with five starts to her name and will race against stronger company than she met at her home track two weeks ago.

Casino Star is a younger half-sister to $1.3 million earner Burning Front who won his 19th race at Flemington last Saturday.

Albury trainer Kevin Hanley is hopeful Casino Star can again deliver as some of her 20 owners will be on track.

“My son-in-law and daughter Justin and Karlie Lovett bred Casino Star and Burning Front,” he said. “If she can win half as many races as Burning Front that would do.

“The owners come from all over the place and some of them I have never met. Hopefully, she can win just as well as she did last time.”

Casino Star has the recent form to indicate she can do it all again. The mare accounted for subsequent Queanbeyan winner Original Prankster, who finished second at Albury, while Fat Impacta (third) will start one of the favourites in a maiden grade race on the program.

Hanley has been forced to make a jockey change with Simon Miller breaking his hand in a fall earlier this week. Apprentice jockey Josh Richard will take the ride from gate 15.

“Simon rode her last start and suggested she would be better suited over 1400 metres. I’m hoping that is the case because if she can keep going well enough I would like to run her in the Country Championships heat,” Hanley said.

The Country Championships preview will be held at Albury on February 16 followed by the Qualifier at Wagga on March 4. First things first, Casino Star will need to prove she is up to the task.

“We will wait and see how she is and determine if she is up to the Country Championships,” Hanley said. “She is still a work in progress, but is heading in the right direction.”

View the final fields with full form & race replays for Albury here

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