Third times a charm for Prima Stella in Casino Cup

Rocky Simonetta (second from right) and Matthew McGuren (right) combined to win the 2021 Casino Cup with Prima Stella. Photo: Trackside Photography.

It was third time lucky for Prima Stella in Sunday’s Casino Cup, with the eight-year-old rollicking in for an easy victory in the $30,000 feature event. 

After finishing third in both the 2019 and 2020 Casino Cups, the Rocky Simonetta trained galloper was a level above his opposition, running out a comfortable winner. 

The Kempsey galloper was given a soft run in behind the speed by Matthew McGuren, before peeling one off on the turn and running away for an easy 1.57 lengths victory over Nothingforthepress and early leader Bombasay. 

“If you have a look at his two runs prior, he was a good thing beaten; he sat three deep in both runs, and they were both good efforts,” Simonetta said. 

“He was the best thing in the race, and I thought he wouldn’t get beat. I even said to someone else who did an article before the race, ‘the more you’ve got on him, the more you win’.

“Plus, the last two years, we have finished third, so we were happy to finally win it – third time lucky I guess.”

Simonetta said he had finally worked out his Redoute’s Show gelding, hinting that reducing his workload had been paying dividends this preperation.

“Last prep I gave him, he had too many runs, he had 10 starts and he is only a small horse,” Simonetta said.

“I changed his work this time, he pulls this little fella, so we only trot him one lap and canter him one lap – that’s all he needs.” 

Prima Stella crossed the line first to win the Casino Cup for trainer Rocky Simonetta and jockey Matthew McGuren. Photo: Trackside Photography.

Prima Stella will now be set for the Hopkins Livermore Cup at Taree on August 27, with his trainer explaining that the seven furlong trip was perfect. 

“We are going to the Hopkins Livermore Cup. He likes the 1400m, it is his pet distance,” Simonetta said. 

“It should be the perfect race for him.”

For full results from the strong seven-race Casino Cup card, readers can click here