Vilakazi Street Goes Back To Back in City Handicap
A patient and well calculated ride saw handy galloper Vilakazi Street become only the second horse in history to collect back to back wins in Thursday's City Handicap at Albury.
Drawing one of the extreme outside alleys in the feature race, experienced hoop Kevin Sweeney showed great patience settling the son of Johannesburg towards the tail of the field before pulling him out in the straight to charge right down the outside and edge out his rivals right in the shadows of the post.
Having proven successful in the race last year, Dryden was always confident in the lead up until the final fields were released on Tuesday morning.
"I was very disappointed with the barrier he drew," Dryden said.
"He had always been set for the race and I thought that if he had in fact drew a barrier then he would have been very hard to beat.
"As it turns out it was a great ride from Kevin [Sweeney] and he was able to overcome it."
Having resuming with a solid performance at Rosehill, Vilakazi Street put the righting on the wall that he was back close to his best when he proved quite unlucky when finishing unplaced in the Listed Camarena Handicap at Canberra two starts back.
"He was extremely unlucky in the Camarena, I think if he had of got a run in the straight he would have been right in the finish," Dryden said.
"He only got beaten 2.6L and was virtually held up the entire straight, personally I thought if he had got out then he would have won."
While he might not have had the ideal lead up to the race having resumed over 1200m before dropping back to 1000m, Dryden had no concerns with the jump up to 1400m.
"He only had a couple of runs this time in but he is very fit horse and I was confident he would have no problems with the step up in trip," Dryden said.
"I thought I had got him pretty close to being right and he proved me right."
Although his record in the wet may read well on paper, Dryden felt he was not at any advantage on the slow surface.
"It's funny because after his poor draw and when they were predicting rain I was actually contemplating scratching him," Dryden said.