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Dryden & Laurel Oak combination hoping for more success at Thoroughbred Park

The Keith Dryden & Laurel Oak Bloodstock connection has enjoyed great success at Thoroughbred Park in recent years with many winners, including a Handle The Truth stakes victory in the 2021 Listed Seears Workwear National Sprint (1400m).

The combination have accepted with a strong contingent this Friday at Thoroughbred Park including Wichita Warrior and Sky Diamonds in the TAB Federal (1600m). While the latter is most likely to head to the New Zealand Bloodstock Handicap earlier in the day, Trainer Keith Dryden is hoping that Wichita Warrior’s recent return to form will continue here.

“He’s going well after what was a lean period.” Dryden said. “He’s going to be needing every bit of the 1600m here but he’s definitely racing well enough again to be in the finish.”

“He’s pulled up really well after what was a really tough run at Canterbury last start. He’s been bouncing around his box all week.”

The six-year-old gelding by All Too Hard ran unplaced for eight starts in a row before winning at Canberra a month ago. Since then, he finished a respectable fifth of nine at Canterbury.

Dryden may line up two more Laurel Oak Bloodstock gallopers in the final event of the day, the Feltex Carpets Handicap, an Open Handicap over 1200m. Both Shores of Avalon and Fangela have been entered in the contest with Shores of Avalon equally likely to head to Hawkesbury on Tuesday.

Fangela, however, will line up on his home track at Thoroughbred Park after drawing favourably in Barrier 6 and will benefit from the 2kg claim of Apprentice Jockey Molly Bourke.

Dryden has grand plans for Fangela, a serious talent who has won five of his 11 starts.

“He’s a horse that we’ve long had a high opinion of.” Dryden said. “All things going well, the target is the grey’s race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.”

The race held on Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday 1 November, is restricted to grey horses only and is worth $150,000.

The TAB Federal is Race Eight on Friday’s program at Thoroughbred Park and is due to jump at 6:08pm.