Sweeney out in front

Kevin Sweeney has launched himself into the lead of the Canberra Jockey's Premiership following his four winners at Thoroughbred Park yesterday.

 The experienced senior hoop dominated the seven race meeting riding winners in four of the six races he was engaged in.

 The most surprising of his wins came in the final race of the meeting when he rode the $21 outsider Moorings Royal to victory by a half-head in a Benchmark 65 Handicap over 1400-metres.

 Sweeney came close to equalling his personal record of five wins at a single meeting finishing second in the feature race aboard the Keith Dryden trained Acta Non Verba.

 Sweeney said he was surprised by his performance. “I didn't really expect I would be as competitive as I was. I knew I had some genuine chances though without being overly confident,” he said.

 “I thought Asclepius in the 1400-metre maiden was going to be a real contender and I ended up winning that one, but I thought I was unlucky not to win on Acta Non Verba in the feature.

 “Things don't always go as you would expect in racing. I wasn't riding any better yesterday then I have been recently. Things just fell into place nicely and I was just in the zone I suppose”.

 Sweeney started the Canberra meeting in perfect style riding the Dryden trained Braviano to victory by a three-quarter length in a Class 1 Handicap over 1000-metres.

 Two rides later he saluted aboard Asclepius in a maiden before backing it up with victory in a Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1200-metres riding the top weighted Poetic Justice. 

 Sweeney has now ridden nine winners at Canberra's Thoroughbred Park this season from 41 starts for a strike-rate of 22%.

 Following his four winners, Sweeney believes he is now a genuine chance of ending Brendan Ward's dominance in the Canberra Jockey's Premiership.

 “I think I'm definitely a chance. I was a bit quiet last season when he was really dominate, and the season before that I only went down by half a win,” said Sweeney.

 “The stables I'm riding for at the moment are performing a bit better than the ones he is riding for. I'm just getting the better rides, but it's still early days and anything can happen”.