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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

New Zealand-bred five-year-old Gambit was a hot $1.40 favourite for the 2130m Catalano Truck And Equipment Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr had grave concerns and misgivings when the Shadow Play gelding performed poorly in his warm-up on the track.

However, his worries were of no consequence when Gambit paced faultlessly and coasted to an effortless win over Infatuation and Alta Rhett.

“Gambit has some sort of problem that we can’t put a finger on,” said trainer Gary Hall snr. “Junior said that he was terrible in the warm-up. But the horse raced well, looked well and won easily. However, I’m going to get him fully vetted to see if we can find something.”

Gambit started from barrier six and Hall jnr took him to the front after 400m. He then paced freely and after final quarters of 29sec. and 27.9sec. he won by 4m from the $7.50 second fancy Infatuation, who led early and then enjoyed the sit behind the pacemaker.

Gambit, described by Hall snr as a class horse, has been raced sparingly and now has earned $146,838 from nine wins and nine placings from 31 starts for his New Zealand owner Steve Waters. He won at six of his 22 starts in New Zealand and his nine WA starts have produced three wins and three placings.  

Whata Breeze, the dam of Gambit, had 38 starts for four wins, nine placings and stakes of $42,639. Whata Breeze is a full-sister to Immortal Quest, who earned $449,590 from 30 wins and 29 placings from 103 starts. Immortal Quest won 14 times on Victorian tracks before winning numerous races in the United States.