Casino footballer's high hopes

CASINO rugby league footballer Chad Pearce and a group of mates who race Blackbeard hope to kick a goal at Ballina tomorrow.

The six-year-old gelding trained by Anthony Townsend tackles the Benchmark 65 Handicap (1260m).

Pearce, who runs a concreting business at Casino, his younger brother Benny and friends including Brendan Ellis and Shane Cummings purchased Blackbeard through a bloodstock agent two months ago.

Previously prepared by Gwenda Markwell, Blackbeard, with seven wins from 33 starts, had his first start for the syndicate when an encouraging 3.3 lengths sev-enth to Mystic Vibe in the Beef Week Cup (1400m) at Casino on May 28.

The gelding will be ridden by 3kg-claiming Brisbane apprentice Priscilla Schmidt and carries 53kg, a weight Townsend believes is much in his favour.

“He’s a lovely big horse, easy to do anything with, a thorough gentleman,” Townsend said.

“I’ve had him for about seven weeks and was pleased with his first up run at Casino.

“He had the winner inside him but somehow ended up the widest runner and kept coming to the line.

“This time he gets in with 53kg, and dropping back in distance and class will suit him.

“A horse like Borsha’s Warrior has 57.5kg and he’ll probably roll forward from barrier 11 and hopefully we can get a nice sit just of the speed. Getting 4.5kg off that horse is a big advantage for us.

“My horse is going good, weighted well and Chad and the boys are looking forward to it.”



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