Top Stables Flex Canberra Premiership Muscle

With the 2016-17 ACT Trainer Premiership on the line the two front-running stables have powerful representation at Friday’s season-ending meeting at Canberra.

Nick Olive goes into the day with a one win lead over the Keith Dryden-Scott Collings partnership.

Olive has accepted with 11 horses, including a couple of emergencies, and Dryden Collings with 9, including a double acceptor.

Olive says the premiership is not something he sets out to win at season opening and given the strength of a couple of other local stables he wasn’t sure he’d be in a position to win it again.

“We were about ten behind earlier in the year, but the winners have come.

“Another premiership would obviously mean a lot to me, as it would to Keith (Dryden). We are both passionate about Canberra and Canberra racing.

“Keith’s had a tough year and has done a wonderful job with Scott (Collings) and I would share their joy if they took it out.”

Friday’s meeting will also determine the 2016-17 ACT Jockey Premiership, Brendan Ward and Matt Cahill are currently dead-heated well-clear off their rivals.  

Dryden-Collings and Cahill link on Chadana in the first race and the filly looks well-placed to beat the older horses.

Olive can hit back in Race 2 with the impressive last start winner Lord Denman. Dryden-Collings have the resumer Moroccan Ruby in the same race with Ward astride and expect her to be wound up.

In Race 3 Olive’s Undaoaf (Ward) and Dryden-Collings’ Suneeze (Cahill) look the two, with Prince Jacko for Dryden-Collings also a live hope.

The 2yo colt Let It Roll (Olive) is first emergency in Race 4, but will take a stack of beating with a start and the less performed stablemate is a possible scratching to enable that to occur.  

Bordeaux Bandit (Ward) would go close for Dryden-Collings in Race 5 but needs a few scratchings to get a run.

Olive has three runners in Race 6 and the trainer says there is nothing much between them. Penza rides Unyielding, Ward, Turbo Bundy and Bensley, Firestoker.

Race 8 could well-determine the Premiership and it looks a match-race between the Dryden-Collings’ Stromlo and Olive’s I Am Kalani. Both were impressive last-start winners on the Canberra Acton track and have plenty of up-side.

The 2yo filly I Am Kalani jumps from the rail and may have a slight edge.

— Don Mackay