Saturday, April 6, 2013

Dryden hopes Acta Non Verba will step

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Canberra trainer Keith Dryden.

Canberra trainer Keith Dryden. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

CANBERRA trainer Keith Dryden admits the distance is a concern for Acta Non Verba in the $30,000 Gundagai Cup (1800m) on Sunday.

The seven-year-old is yet to tackle a race longer than the 1600-metre journey in his 42-race career, and will step up to the 1800-metre trip for the feature race at Gundagai.

''His breeding suggests he won't [run out the 1800-metre trip], but we'll give it the best shot we can,'' Dryden said.

''He's looking good in work and he's very fit, but whether he can run it out will be answered on Sunday.

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''I expect him to run a nice race and if he can get the distance he will be pretty competitive.''

Acta Non Verba won two races on the trot at Braidwood and the Sapphire Coast before his last start at Albury, where he was outclassed, according to his trainer, Dryden.

Having dropped in class from his latest effort, the Canberra trainer is confident that Acta Non Verba will be up to the standard of his competitors in the Gundagai Cup.

''It was a tougher sort of race to what he had been winning in [at Albury], and the track was wet which probably didn't suit him,'' he said.

''The difference in race strength from when he went to Albury to when it was down the coast [the start prior] was a 20-length difference of race. The horse is not up to that class. The horse is over the hill and is in what you would call the twilight of his career.

''If you have a look at Albury, he was the bottom weight, and at Gundagai [on Sunday] he is the top-weight, so that ought to tell you the difference in the class of race.''

Apprentice jockey Kayla Cross is engaged to ride Acta Non Verba on Sunday and her 1.5-kilogram claim is a welcome boost to the Strategic gelding's chances.

The pair will jump from out wide, which Dryden said makes it difficult to plan for the race.

''No tactics. You can't work these things out,'' he said. ''All I know is that we'll be handy.

''You can sit down and go through all this bullshit of working out where you're gunna be, and then some clown at 200-1 takes you on, and then it's all out the door. We'll just play it as it goes.''


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