Thousand Guineas favourite Hinged on success

8 min read
Retired Toowoomba dentist Dr Kim McCasker will sit down with his grandchildren on Wednesday and cheer on Hinged (Worthy Cause), the favourite for the G1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield and a horse that he bred and part-owns. We caught up with him to chat about the star 3-year-old filly.

Cover image courtesy of Sportpix

The G1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on Wednesday boasts a typically good field of 3-year-old fillies and, as the market sits, it’s headed by the Queensland-bred, Chris Waller-trained Hinged. The filly was second to Never Been Kissed (NZ) (Tivaci) in the G1 Flight S. over a week ago, just 0.29l in arrears, and she heads to Wednesday with strong credentials.

Hinged has raced nine times in her career, winning five races and placing in a further three. She’s been off the podium only once. Her prizemoney is a tick over $400,000, and she races in the familiar colours of Yes Bloodstock.

For her first seven races, the filly was campaigned in Queensland with trainer Michael Nolan, achieving a very smart record of five wins from Toowoomba to Ipswich to Doomben. Through the winter, she was transferred south to Waller.

Trainer Michael Nolan and Kim McCasker after winning the Inglis Classic at Randwick in 1998 | Image courtesy of Sportpix

Hinged was unplaced in the Listed Dulcify S. at Kembla Grange last month, but she bounced right back when running second in the Flight S. The winner of that race (Never Been Kissed) was second to Profondo (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the G1 Spring Champion S. last weekend, so the form-line is excellent.

Yes to selling

Hinged was bred on the Darling Downs by a retired local dentist, Dr. Kim McCasker.

McCasker has been in the racing game for a long time, and had the brilliant gelding Laurie’s Lottery (Sir Laurence {NZ}), a one-time Golden Slipper favourite that won the G2 Todman S., G3 Roman Consul S. and was second in the 1998 G2 Stan Fox S. and G2 Caulfield Guineas.

Laurie’s Lottery | Image courtesy of Sportpix

McCasker raced Hinged through her Queensland career, and sold a decent percentage of her in August this year when Jonathan Rosham gave him a call. He remained in the filly at 10 per cent.

“I’ve taken horses to Sydney and Melbourne in the past, and I’ve had measured success with them,” McCasker said. “Laurie’s Lottery, for instance, and Mr Kick. It’s very tough and very competitive down there.

"Michael Nolan trains all my horses up here in Queensland, and he’s a brilliant trainer but he wouldn’t have had the resources to do what needed to be done with Hinged, having Brae Sokolski and Jonathan Rosham involved.”

“I’ve taken horses to Sydney and Melbourne in the past, and I’ve had measured success with them. It’s very tough and very competitive down there." - Kim McCasker

It was unusual for McCasker to part-sell the filly. He’d normally retain the entire horse or sell outright, but Hinged had been spectacular for Toowoomba-based Nolan, which was why Yes Bloodstock had come calling in the first place.

“Jonathan Rosham phoned me up and made me an offer, and I sat on it for a day or two,” McCasker said. “They’d obviously been watching her, because she’d won three in a row in town at that stage, and she was running over middle distances around the mile, and winning well.”

McCasker said he’s sold around 10 horses in his lifetime for decent money, and to places like Hong Kong, Macau and various parts of Australia.

“I think you’ve got to do that because when you’ve got a few horses it becomes expensive, and you need to see some profits at some stage,” he said.

Taking the gamble

McCasker keeps around seven broodmares, and one of those is Tints (Tycoon Ruler), the dam of Hinged.

Tints is now 11 years old, boarding at the Frappell family’s Clear Mountain Fairview Stud. She raced 47 times through her Queensland career, and among her 12 wins was the Roma Cup of 2014.

Tints as a yearling

The mare was bred by the Frappells, and she sold from Clear Mountain Fairview to McCasker at the 2012 Magic Millions QTIS Yearling Sale. He paid just $10,000 for her, and Tints returned that sum nearly 25 times over, winning just shy of $250,000 in career prizemoney.

“When I bought her, she had a little cut on her foot,” McCasker said. “I don’t think anyone considered her at that Sale because she was a little bit lame. So I took the gamble and I bought her, and she won her first race by about 10l, from memory.”

"I took the gamble and I bought her (Tints, the dam of Hinged), and she won her first race by about 10l, from memory.” - Kim McCasker

That race was a 2-year-old handicap at Toowoomba early in 2012, and the official margin was 9.8l. Thereafter, Tints raced gallantly for McCasker until her retirement in July 2016, after which she went to Clear Mountain Fairview and, in the ensuing years, its stallion roster.

Hinged was her first surviving foal, born in September 2018 from the first crop of foals by Worthy Cause. McCasker has a 2-year-old full sister to Hinged called Hue, and a yearling filly by the late Easy Rocking. Tints will foal again to Worthy Cause this spring, and likely will head back to the stallion this season.

Worthy Cause, sire of Hinged | Standing at Clear Mountain Fairview

“Hue is just coming into work now, and people tend to say this but she’s the dead spitting-image of her sister,” McCasker said. “She looks really good, and Tints will go back to Worthy Cause after foaling to him again.

"You don’t want to have a whole tribe of them, but crosses are sometimes fiddly and other times, when you’ve got a good enough mare, anything you send will produce a good horse.”

Breeding to race

McCasker is in racing for the thrill of competition. He’s a hobby breeder and, with Tints heading back to Worthy Cause, he said he’s hoping for a good QTIS horse.

Mick Frappell is the stud manager at Clear Mountain Fairview, where Worthy Cause stands alongside Jabali, Love Conquers All and Wanted. He said Hinged is a true product of Clear Mountain breeding.

Lisa Frappell and Mick Frappell

“Tints was by Tycoon Ruler, who we had for his entire stud career, and he was really good to us as a producer up here in Queensland,” Frappell said. “He looks like he might be a great broodmare sire now too.”

Tycoon Ruler stood for 14 seasons at Clear Mountain Fairview, during which time he sired a raft of winners, including stakes horses Jet Style and Upstart Pride. His final season was in 2018, which was also the year that the first crop of Worthy Cause foals arrived, among them Hinged.

The late Tycoon Ruler who stood at Clear Mountain Fairview

“Anything that Worthy Cause has done, he’s done it off small books,” Frappell said. “He covers around the 50 mark each season, and Hinged has been something that we’ve been really interested in since she got going.

"From memory, she was his very first runner, and she was a brilliant 2-year-old. Every time she went around she either won or she was close to winning.”

"Hinged has been something that we’ve been really interested in since she got going... Every time she went around she either won or she was close to winning." - Mick Frappell

Frappell said that Hinged was a very correct and leggy foal with a great temperament. He handled the filly right through to her departure to Michael Nolan.

“Kim is a breed-to-race guy, and he rarely puts any through the sales,” Frappell said. “So we always had her (Hinged) earmarked, and we broke her in for him before she went off to Michael Nolan. Michael had a big opinion of her from the moment she got there.”

What will be

Hinged’s success has put McCasker in a different mindset when it comes to future breeding plans for Tints. He’s already looking at more ambitious options for the mare next spring.

“We’re already doing mating plans for her and just seeing what’s available,” he said. “That’s a great part of things, when you can sit back and plan these things and then see what happens. But the racing side of things is still the most exciting part for me.

"I’ve been involved in a lot of sports through my life, but to have a horse like this one, like Hinged, it’s just a wonderful thing.”

"I’ve been involved in a lot of sports through my life, but to have a horse like this one, like Hinged, it’s just a wonderful thing.” - Kim McCasker

McCasker will be with his grandchildren on Wednesday when the Thousand Guineas is run. Hinged has drawn barrier nine for the mile race and will be ridden by Damian Lane. Zouzarella (Zoustar), the race’s other fancy, has drawn more favourably in barrier two.

Hinged’s form in the G1 Flight S. lends well to recent history.

While she didn’t win the race, the filly was very close and recent horses that have done well in the Flight S. and then won the Thousand Guineas include Global Glamour (Star Witness) in 2016 and Guelph (Exceed And Excel) in 2013.

“It’s a very good field of horses,” McCasker said. “Hinged hasn’t got a particularly good draw, but she’s a very versatile type of horse. She’s drawn out but if we get a shower beforehand it will make it a little bit easier.

“She’s a good filly and you’ve just got to hope that she’s pulled up well from a 10-day backup, remembering that she’s also travelled overnight to Melbourne. From what Chris Waller has told me, she’s in good shape so we hope for the best. What will be, will be.”

Mick Frappell
Chris Waller
Michael Nolan
Dr Kim McCasker