Albury bound Third Eye searching for third-straight win for Keith Dryden

Damon Budler guided the Keith Dryden-trained Third Eye to victory at Dubbo earlier this month. The Canberra galloper will be in action at Albury on Sunday when searching for three-straight wins. Photo: Racing Photography.

Keith Dryden will venture to Albury on Sunday with just the one runner going around when Third Eye takes on the 2000m Adrian Ledger Prelude Benchmark 58 Handicap.

The Canberra galloper has been racing well of late, stringing back-to-back wins together.

At the Sapphire Coast late last month, the Delago Deluxe mare won her maiden over the 1600m before backing up at Dubbo earlier this month, again winning over the mile when taking out the Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

Dryden believes his five-year-old is ready for her first 2000m test at Albury.

“I think she has been screaming out for it,” Dryden said.

“I think she is a genuine 2000m horse.”

Third Eye doesn’t possess a huge finishing burst, but she works into races strongly, generally holding a sustained run, and it is this quality that has Dryden confident she can win a third straight race at Albury.

“That’s what indicates to me that she wants a bit further and she will take some beating if she runs the distance,” Dryden said. 

At Dubbo, Third Eye was ridden closer to the lead, highlighting her versatility.  

“We took her out of her comfort zone there as she likes to get back in her races,” Dryden said.

“At Dubbo, horses near the lead were winning, and he (Damon Budler) sat her fifth and sixth, but she still finished strongly and won.

“I think she will run the 2000m pretty strongly, but I will state, I have been wrong before.”

Damon Budler was again booked for the ride, but after a late change, Jack Martin will guide Third Eye out of gate three at Albury.

“Generally, Damon Budler rides her, and he got injured at Canberra and I had already booked him for the ride, and when his manager called and told me he couldn’t ride, a lot of jockeys were taken at that point,” Dryden said.

“I haven’t met him before, but he rides alright, and I just put him on, and we will see how he goes.”

Third Eye looks a nice mare to follow and could be aimed towards a feature at Albury’s upcoming Gold Cup carnival, but Dryden said the Albury Cup, along with other Country Cups, were likely off the table due to ‘The Big Dance’. 

“We will just see how she is going and take her through the classes,” Dryden said

“I don’t know about any country cups for her, because I think it is going to be too hard to win another country cup with this Big Dance.

“Country trainers won’t be able to win those races with those big stables bringing horses down, and you can’t blame blokes like Chris Waller, because they have a business to run, but we will find it very difficult to win any of those races.”

Albury is set to host a strong seven-race-program on Sunday, which leads in nicely to the club’s two-day Albury Gold Cup carnival on March 24-25.

Readers can click here for full fields