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A Photo Finish in Canberra Horse of the Year Award

The first crowd at Thoroughbred Park since the Canberra Carnival in March will be treated to an intriguing sub-plot this Friday at Your Event Solution Race Day. Last season’s ‘Canberra Horse of the Year’ winner Prince Jacko will line up against two stablemates on Friday, both of whom will be looking to take his coveted title from him. Keith Dryden’s Balonne and Sweet Knuckle are two of the three gallopers still in the hunt for the crown of Canberra’s Horse of the Year, the other is Mick Smith’s Street Cred. Dryden’s three runners have all accepted in the Paul Miller TAB Federal, a race named in honour of retired Canberra Racing Club Committee Member Paul Miller. 

Coincidently, Miller is the owner of Balonne who is leading the ‘NZ Bloodstock Canberra Horse of the Year’ standings with 3 wins and 1 second from 7 starts. A win or second placing in the Paul Miller TAB Federal would be enough to secure victory and Trainer Keith Dryden believes his 6-year-old gelding is every chance of doing so.

“We had planned on taking him to Moruya but the meeting was abandoned. He has been going well without luck, I think he will race well and will be in the finish” Dryden said.

“It is fantastic that Balonne will race in the Paul Miller TAB Federal with a chance to win the Horse of the Year. Paul has been a great owner and friend for many years.”

Stablemate Sweet Knuckle will be out to spoil the party but will have to overcome a trot of sub-par performances. The 5-year-old mare has won 5 of her 22 starts including first up this preparation so she can can’t be discounted.

The final contender for ‘NZ Bloodstock Canberra Horse of the Year’ is Mick Smith’s Street Cred. The Queanbeyan-trained gelding has 2 wins, a second and a third at Thoroughbred Park this season and is poised to strike if Balonne can’t muster a top two finish. Street Cred lines up in the Peter Lancken Handicap over 2000m.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations, attendance at Thoroughbred Park is limited to Members, Owners and Sponsors. Racing begins at 12:10pm this Friday the 24th of July with Race 1, the Peter Lancken Handicap.