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No final day nerves for Dryden & McDougall

There will be no final day nerves for leading Trainer Keith Dryden and Jockey Blaike McDougall as they enter the final race meeting of the 2020/2021 Canberra racing season with commanding leads in their respective premierships.

Dryden, as it stands after this morning’s acceptances, is now a mathematical certainty to win his sixth Canberra Trainers Premiership after Matthew Dale who sits six wins behind entered runners in less than six races at this Friday’s YES Events Race Day.

Dryden, who is the reigning premier, has amassed 19 wins and 29 minor placings from 113 starts at Thoroughbred Park during the 2020/2021 racing season including Handle The Truth’s explosive victory in the Listed Seears Workwear National Sprint on John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes Day.

Dryden believes that the quality of racing in the region has never been better and is thrilled with his team’s efforts over the past twelve months.

“The quality of horse in the region is very high so it’s a great accomplishment” Dryden said. “It is hard to win one race let alone 19 so we’re very pleased.”

Not content with his 19 winners this season, Dryden will saddle up a number of live chances this Friday including Balansa, Balonne, Gunga Din (NZ) and Wichita Warrior all in the TAB Federal (1280m).

“I set a goal at the start of the season to train 20 winners here at Canberra so fingers crossed we can get the job done on Friday.” Dryden said.

“In the TAB Federal I think Balonne and Wichita Warrior are my better hopes. Wichita Warrior has been working particularly well and Balonne who often needs a run or two to find his best is up to this grade on his day.”

Leading Jockey Blaike McDougall sits 17 winners ahead of his closest rival in Kayla Nisbet, collecting an incredible 30 wins at Thoroughbred Park this season. McDougall has found himself in a head bobber for the Australian Jockey Premiership with Western Australian hoop Chris Parnham.

At time of publishing, McDougall on 192 (via Racenet) sits two wins ahead of Parnham with just over a week until the end of the Australian racing season.

The TAB Federal is Race Seven on Friday’s program and is due to jump at 3:55pm.


Pictured: Keith Dryden leading the debrief after his horse Handle The Truth won the Affinity Constructions Australia Quality Open Sprint (1000m) on John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes Day in 2020.