Canberra trainers accomplish rare feat at home

Damon Budler rode three winners at Canberra on Friday, and his pictured here helping the Todd Smart trained Eurosay to victory in the 1280m Benchmark 65 Handicap. Photo: Govern Images.

In a feat not seen for at least 20 years, Canberra trainers prepared each and every winner on Friday’s eight-race-card at Thoroughbred Park

Making the achievement all the more astonishing was the fact that eight different trainers registered victories. 

Thoroughbred Park CEO Andrew Clark said he had never witnessed the occurrence before and highlighted just how well local trainers were going, both at home and abroad.  

“I have worked for the Club since 1998 and it is the first time I can recall all races on a program being won by Canberra based Trainers,” Clark said. 

“To then have eight different trainers win the races is a remarkable achievement.”

 “We have 19 different trainers based at Thoroughbred Park and it showcases the depth in training talent to have eight different trainers winning races at a meeting. The trifectas in four of the eight races were also filled with Canberra based runners.”

Luke Pepper opened the winning run with Rebel Dreamer (Kayla Nisbet) taking out the 1206m three-year-old Handicap before Barbara Joseph and Paul and Matt Jones won the second event on the card with Pride Of Kalaru (Michael Heagney) taking out the 1750m Benchmark 60 Handicap. 

The in-form Norm Gardner stable won the third race, the 1080m TAB Federal, with Delacour (Brendan Ward) and Matthew Dale took out the fourth, with Clem Fandango (Damon Budler) proving too good for his rivals in the 1900m Class One Handicap. 

Budler, a Canberra-based apprentice, made it three wins on the day, helping Lenny’s Lad to a win in the 1080m Maiden Handicap for Mick Miladinovic before guiding Eurosay to a good win in the 1280, Benchmark 65 Handicap for Todd Smart. 

Kayla Nisbet also landed a brace of winners, riding the Ron Weston and John Nisbet trained Smugglers Run to a good win in the 1206m Class One. 

Rounding out the meeting, Nick Olive and Molly Bourke combined, winning the 1280m Maiden Handicap with Miss Manzanill.

Canberra success continued over the weekend, with Keith Dryden winning the 1800m TAB Highway Class Three Handicap with Dream Runner at Royal Randwick before setting Emma’s Gift for victory at Wagga on Sunday, with the four-year-old taking out the 1300m Class One Handicap. 

Norm Gardner landed a double at Wagga too, with La Valkyrie breaking through in the 1600m Maiden Handicap and Cyborg making it two in a row in the 1400m Open Handicap – Mathew Cahill riding both winners. 

Clark said the strong form of Canberra trainers proved that the nation’s capital was a prime location to have horses trained. 

“This was then followed up with our premiership winning Trainer Keith Dryden, who wasn’t one of the eight Trainers on Friday, winning the TAB Highway at Randwick on Saturday and then further success at Wagga on Sunday,” Clark said. 

“All of this highlights that Thoroughbred Park with a Canberra based trainer is the ideal location to have your horse trained from.”

For full results from Friday’s meeting at Canberra, readers can click here.