Olive and Ward Strike Again
Last seasons leading Canberra trainer Nick Olive and premiership winning jockey Brendan Ward continued their domination of Canberra racing both notching up trebles in the Friday meeting.
Olive went into the meeting with several leading chances and didn't let supporters down striking early with progressive mare Pray To God with Ward in the saddle before having to wait until race six to notch up the double with the lightly raced Fullerton, Ward again doing the steering.
His treble came by book-ending the program with the consistent gelding Allbeit who was partnered by Richard Bensley leaving Olive satisfied with his day.
“You can never complain walking away with a treble and all three that won are in great form and proved that on Friday,” Olive said.
“Considering we got Pray To God from a broodmare sale for not a lot of money, she's done a great job and still has the scope to improve along with Fullerton who I have a really good opinion of, he may only have one more start before going to the paddock but he has a really bright future.”
Olive had to sweat out the victory with Fullerton after the second placed horse fired in a protest for late interference but to Olive's relief he held the race.
“When I watched it live I thought we might be in some trouble but after seeing the replay I thought we would keep it so it was a relief,” he said.
“He still has a lot of improving to do mentally and physically so I'm fairly certain that we will see the best of him after another break.”
Olive believed the best run of the day came from his final winner in Allbeit who carried weight and did it the tough way but still found a way to find the finishing post in front.
“He's just racing super at the moment and his effort to win was really pleasing because he didn't really get any favours but toughed it out with the weight,” Olive said.
“He might back up at Wagga next Friday where he should be suited again but he is getting to that stage where he will be a bit hard to place around this area so we will just take him race by race.”
Olive looks well and truly on the way to record back to back Canberra premierships as does leading rider Brendan Ward who since re-locating to Canberra has enjoyed great success.
He notched up his treble aboard the Bernie Howlett trained Trescorpioni and was unlucky not to claim four winners when narrowly beaten aboard long odds on favourite Poetic Justice earlier in the Program.
“Four winners would have been nice but I'm happy to take three considering we had to fight to hold one on protest,” Ward said.
“It's definitely a goal to take out the premiership again and would be great if Nick and I could go back to back together.”