Don’t be surprised to see topical tip Lockdown Gamble start short on the totes at Sunday’s Forbes Cup meeting.
Mudgee-based trainer David Smith doesn’t expect the well-named four-year-old to be a maiden much longer either.
“When COVID first hit, his owner Terry McDonald went out to some bloke’s back paddock and picked the horse out,” said Smith. “He has always owned horses but has mainly been in syndications.
“He approached me and said he wanted to have one more crack at owning a horse outright, which was the gamble.”
The big-striding son of Casino Prince looked sharp in a recent barrier trial at Scone with the blinkers applied and jockey Jake Pracey-Holmes in the saddle.
“I always thought the blinkers would do the trick. There was a hell of a difference between his Coonamble trial where he was floating everywhere looking at the butterflies, but with a bit of race experience and the blinkers on we saw a massive change,” said Smith.
“His mind was on the job, he was much more focused. The best part about it is how strong he was late. Jake couldn’t stop him through the line. It took him a couple of furlongs to pull him up.
“I’ve had three different riders jump on in his gallops now, and each time they’ve come back in and said that the horse has got something there.”
Smith concludes that it was all too new for Lockdown Gamble at Warren on debut. The leader-friendly track played a role too. He followed that with a fourth at Scone at his second start in what has already proven to be a deep form race.