Five in a row for comeback king

4 min read

Written by Richard Edmunds

Six stakes races were contested at Aquis Park Gold Coast on Saturday, but the most remarkable story might have come from the undercard.

The Attwood Marshall Lawyers Benchmark 75 was won in determined fashion by The Candy Man (Casino Prince) and a fifth consecutive victory for a horse who is lucky to be alive, let alone racing.

Following a fifth placing on debut at the Sunshine Coast in May 2016, the grey gelding suffered horrendous injuries in a stable accident.

“It was a terrible injury, he smashed his jaw,” trainer Barry Baldwin said. “They had to do nine hours of surgery and put seven plates into his jaw.

Trainer Barry Baldwin

“They also had to roll him over during the operation, because he’d broken the jaw on both sides.

“They also had to roll him over during the operation, because he’d broken the jaw on both sides.” – Barry Baldwin.

“It was such a traumatic experience for him and probably not many horses would even be able to come through a nine-hour operation like that.”

But come through it he did, and after a third and two seconds at the Sunshine Coast and Ipswich in November and December, he has now strung together five consecutive wins.

“It’s five wins in a row now, and not many horses can do that,” Baldwin said. “Winx won 32, and he’s no Winx, but it’s fair to say he’s been through a lot more than most horses have.

“It was a good, game win. I thought he was going to get beaten, but he’s got a real will to win.”

“It was a good, game win. I thought he was going to get beaten, but he’s got a real will to win.” – Barry Baldwin.

The Candy Man is owned by Lucky Pippos, and he races in the same colours as the Queensland hero Gunsynd (Sunset Hue), who won 29 races including the Cox Plate, Doncaster H., Epsom H., Toorak H. and George Adams H. (now Cantala S.). Gunsynd was part-owned by Pippos’ brother George.

The Candy Man

The Candy Man has a long way to go to match those achievements, but his incredible back story could turn him into a cult hero in his own right.

And Michael Cahill, who rode him to Saturday’s half-length victory under 59.5 kilograms, has no doubt that there are bigger and better things in store.

"I think he is a pretty good horse and he is up to stakes race," he said.

Depending on how he comes through Saturday’s run, black-type races such as the Chairman’s H. and Premier’s Cup could be on his agenda in the coming weeks.

"I think he is a pretty good horse and he is up to stakes race.” – Michael Cahill.

The Candy Man has now had nine starts for five wins, three placings and $137,750 in stakes. He was sold for $40,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast and then Baldwin bought him for $120,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Horses in Training Sale later that year.

The Candy Man as a yearling

He is a son of Melody (NZ) (Stavinsky {USA}), who won five races and placed in the Listed Angst S. She is already the dam of two stakes performers.

The Candy Man’s full-brother Phrases won the Listed Randwick City S. and placed in the G3 NE Manion Cup and Listed Gosford Gold Cup, while Motifs (Fusaichi Pegasus {USA}) won twice and placed in the Listed Queen Adelaide S.

Other notable family members include the multiple stakes winners Able Attempt (NZ) (Spectacular Love {USA}), Zaza (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) and capable grey stayer Maygrove (Authorized {Ire}), and the G1 New Zealand Oaks placegetter Falsetto (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}).

The Candy Man as a 2YO