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A hard truth to handle

One of Canberra’s favourite equine stars, Handle The Truth, will step out for his 48th and final race start in the $200,000 Canberra Community Chest on Saturday, 25 November. 

The Keith Dryden-trained eight-year-old is the winner of nine races including the Kosciuszko & Listed National Sprint in front of an adoring home crowd back in 2021. 

“That was a huge day for us.” Dryden said of Handle The Truth’s National Sprint win. “Nash (Rawiller) came all the way down just for the ride, he had a real affinity for this bloke, we recently spoke and he said he’d love to partner with him one more time.”

“He’s been such a special horse to our whole stable for such a long time. He’s had the exact same box since his first preparation with us as a two-year-old and he’s now eight.”

While sure to feel mixed emotions next Saturday, Dryden is delighted he is able to give Handle The Truth the farewell he deserves.

“He’s still sound as a bell.” Dryden said. “He’s probably lost a length or so but he’s still enjoying his racing so we’re very glad we can send him out a strong, healthy and happy horse.”

His story closely intertwines with that of the Kosciuszko, a race which attracts NSW country’s best sprinters. He is the race’s most capped galloper, appearing in four editions and winning in 2019. 

He competed on John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes Day four times, garnering two victories, in the Listed National Sprint (2021) and time-honored Camarena (2020), a second in the National Sprint (2023) and a 6th in the 2018 Group 3 Black Opal Stakes. 

“He’s been such an important part of our team and I hope Canberra comes out to bid him farewell.” Dryden said.

Handle The Truth has amassed $1,777,420 in prize money for his lucky connections including syndicator Laurel Oak Bloodstock. 

The son of Star Witness has nine wins and ten places from his 47 career starts.

You can witness Handle The Truth’s final race in the Canberra Community Chest at Thoroughbred Park on Saturday, 25 November, with tickets available now via Ticketek.