Handle The Truth will look to become the first ever horse to win The Kosciuszko twice when he lines up in the $2 million country-only sprint at Royal Randwick on October 15.
The 2019 winner and 2021 runner up, trained out of Canberra by Keith Dryden, will race in his fourth consecutive The Kosciuszko, with the Burwood Inn Hotel Syndicate picking the Keith Dryden-trained seven-year-old.
“We found out at about 1pm,” Dryden said.
“It all happened pretty quickly. They contacted Louis (Mihalyka), the owner of Laurel Oak Bloodstock and he got it organised straight away and he called me and told me it was done.”
There’s a good reason why Handle The Truth was one of the first horses selected, with the seven-year-old boasting a country racing resume that is second to none.
In 35 starts, the Star Witness gelding has won 9 times and placed on a further 9 occasions, earning connections almost $1.7 million in prizemoney.
He is a two-time Highway winner (2018), The Kosciuszko winner (2019) and runner up (2021), Canberra National Sprint winner (2021), a multiple Group and Listed placegetter, and two-time Goulburn Cup placegetter (2019 & 2020)
Most recently, Handle The Truth flashed late to run a good third in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday, finishing behind the likes of Eduardo and Athelric.
In an ominous sign to rivals, Dryden believes his veteran sprinter is going better than ever.
“I think he is going as good as he has ever gone, and he proved that the other day with his run in the Concorde,” Dryden said.
“He went the fastest final 200m of the day, and Nash Rawiller is booked to ride him, and he rang up to see how he pulled up after the run, and he is excited to be on him.”
Dryden was simply happy to have a slot locked up for Handle The Truth, with the astute trainer now plotting his path towards the rich country-only feature sprint.
“Now that it has been put to bed, I can plan his preparation from here on in, and what I mean by that is, I don’t need to give him another run to show him off,” Dryden said.
“He is picked now, and even if I put him in the wrong race, he’s already got his spot.
“The reason I say that is because I am considering the Group 2 Shorts in a couple of weeks, and you wouldn’t expect him to win, but if he runs sixth or seventh, people might say he has gone off the boil, but now we have that ticket, we can focus on that race and then The Kosciuszko.”
Handle The Truth’s selection in The Kosciuszko came quickly on the heels of the Mitchell Beer-trained Mnementh being first picked in the race earlier today.
On what was a whirlwind afternoon and evening for Racing NSW and country racing fans, Commando Hunt (Cameron Crockett), 2021 winner Art Cadeau (Terry Robinson), It’s Me (Brett Cavanough), Fender (Brett Cavanough), Front Page (Geoff Duryea), and 2022 Country Championships winner Another One (Gary Colvin) were all selected to contest the $2 million race next month.