Sargent hoping Casual Connection can earn Cup berth

John Sargent is crossing his fingers that Casual Connection's narrow victory at Randwick will give him a sufficient ratings boost to squeeze into the field for the Brisbane Cup.

A renowned trainer of stayers, Sargent saddled up two runners in the two-mile race last year, Essential Sky who finished fifth and Outlandos ninth, and he believes Casual Connection (NZ) will more than hold his own if he can find his way into the field.

"He might get enough [ratings] points from this win to get into the Brisbane Cup," Sargent said. "He will have no weight, so it is worth a gamble.''

Casual Connection ($12) was a determined winner of Saturday's PF Civil Handicap, his third victory over 2400 metres.

The gelding was left in front a long way from home after surging to the lead at the top of the Randwick straight and appeared set to have his colours lowered by Quantum Cat ($4 fav), who ranged ominously on his inside.But the tough five-year-old kicked back strongly to get the verdict by a short head, much to the delight of Sargent who is also a majority owner.

"I own half of it,'' Sargent said. "I bought his sister online in New Zealand two weeks ago. They just need time the Complacents.

"He got a jump on them on the turn and that helped. He's a real 'whacking' stayer and that's how it eventuated."

The Brisbane Cup (3200m) is on the Stradbroke Handicap undercard at Eagle Farm on June 15.

Casual Connection (NZ) earns himself a trip to Brisbane for the Cup; picture