Nevada Gambler wins last race
NEVADA Gambler’s final race before retirement produced a fairytale ending during the Gympie Action Auto Group Cup at the weekend.
The Barry Gill-trained veteran was a sentimental favourite before the feature race of the day at the Gympie Racecourse.
Looking on from the stands, Barry and his wife Desiree went through a gamut of emotions as the horse cast his final roll of the dice.
Nevada Gambler ($3.50) flashed across the finish line to win by a head over 2008 winner and race favourite, Try Some Magic ($3.20).
The win ensured back-to-back victories for the champion horse.
Speaking to The Gympie Times yesterday, Desiree’s voice cracked with emotion.
“We went through every emotion possible in the stands,” she said.
“He showed sheer guts to win the race and it was a real dog fight.
“Throughout his entire career he was a real fighter.”
Nevada Gambler fell back to second last during the early phase of the 1600-metre race before weaving his way up through the field at the 600-metre mark.
Ridden by Sunshine Coast apprentice jockey Shane Arnold, Desiree said the determination flickered in the Gambler’s eyes.
“You could see the white of his eyes – it was priceless,” she said.
“He deserved that win so much and it was the perfect ending.”
Desiree paid tribute to Arnold, who had his first appearance on the Gympie sand track during the start of his burgeoning career.
“I had lots of faith in Shane to get the job done and he executed the race plan perfectly,” she said.
Try Some Magic claimed the Gympie Action Auto Group Cup in 2008 and appeared on track to repeat the feat before Nevada Gambler dug deep to triumph.
Desiree said Try Some Magic was worthy of a lot of respect.
“We have so much respect for Try Some Magic,” she said.
“He’s a top class horse and the Gambler had to dig deep to get the better of him.”
The Gill stable had five runs for the day and after an emotionally charged day, a few drinks capped off celebrations.
In addition to the Gambler’s brilliant win, the Gill stable collected three other races, scoring $22,000 of the $51,000 in prize money on offer.
“There have been some big wins but this was definitely the most emotional,” Desiree said. “Nevada Gambler was the horse we started off with and Saturday was the best day I’ve had at the races.”