TRAINER Kevin Hanley is no stranger to Albury Gold Cup carnival success.
Despite some of the nation's biggest stables targeting the carnival, the wily trainer more often than not bobs up with a winner.
This year Hanley is pinning his hopes on last-start winner Casino Star as his best chance of sharing in the carnival spoils.
Casino Star will most likely target the $22,000 Benchmark 58 Hcp, (1600m) tomorrow although the galloper is nominated for a race as well the following day.
The five-year-old mare is racing in career best fashion with a win and three placings from her four most recent starts.
"She has been racing well and gets into another winnable race," Hanley said.
"I was keen to run her on the Friday but the Thursday race looks a bit weaker and there is not that much difference in the prizemoney.
"I can't fault her since she won last-start and she is thriving this preparation.
"She has matured a bit more this time in and that's been the biggest difference."
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This year is the first time in over a decade that Hanley will head into the Albury carnival without son and long-time stablehand, Tim.
Tim joined the Tony McEvoy stable in Melbourne shortly after the Albury carnival last year.
Instead, Hanley's daughter, Karlie, has been helping her father prepare a small team of horses from their Racecourse Road stables.
"Tim's loving working at a bigger stable but he has got this week off on holiday's and will be home for the carnival," he said.
Blaike McDougall replaces Lachie King in the saddle.
The in-form McDougall is in hot demand from trainers and has a full book of rides on the opening day of the carnival.
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