Premiership winding up

Injuries to jockeys Matt Cahill and Brendon Ward have left the door open for Goulburn-based Richard Bensley to win his first ACT Jockey Premiership.

With just two Canberra meetings of the 2017-18 racing season remaining, Bensley sits six wins behind Cahill who has been on the sidelines with a hand injury incurred in June in a race fall at Wellington.

Cahill finished second in last year’s premiership, two wins behind Ward, whose season was cruelled when he fractured a hip in a track work incident in December.  

He’s back riding, but his 7 Canberra season wins is well down on the 21 he recorded in 2016-17.

Bensley has been the beneficiary, picking up plumb rides for the Nick Olive stable in particular, and can’t be ruled out in the premiership race given the strength of the premier yard.

He’s ridden 18 winners on Canberra tracks at a strike rate of 21%, which far exceeds his all season average of 12%.

All venues, Bensley has ridden 52 winners: 17 for Olive, eight for Chris Heywood, six for Gratz Vella, and five for Tash Burleigh.

For punters his home-town association with Burleigh has proved the most profitable, returning a POT of 375% at a strike rate of 38%.

In the ACT Trainer Premiership, the Keith Dryden- Scott Collings partnership maintain a commanding 10 win lead over Olive, with the Barbara-Joesph-Paul Jones linkage two wins further astern.