A POTENTIAL heavy track and not the awkward barrier draw is of most concern to Canberra trainer Nick Olive in assessing the chances of his in-form mare Dylan’s Deeva at Albury on Thursday.
The six-year-old mare has been racing in the best form of her career, winning four of her past six starts, and could get the chance to add another win to her record if Olive gives the all-clear for her to start in Thursday’s KDEC Electrical & Solar Open Hcp (1175m).
Dylan’s Deeva drew gate 10 in the 12-horse field but the barrier is the least of Olive’s concerns.
He wants to see what the track rating is at Albury on race morning before confirming a start. The Albury track was rated a Heavy 8 on Wednesday morning after receiving 31.5mm of rain over the past week.
“That’s the concern. I’ll see how the track comes up on Thursday morning and make a decision on a start then,” said Olive. “If it got into a Heavy 9 or 10 she probably won’t run.
“She gets through soft ground okay, but a really heavy track is the unknown.”
Dylan’s Deeva was well beaten at her one previous run on a heavy track back in 2016 when she was trained by John Sargent, but that was first-up from a spell on the Beaumont track rated a heavy10.
Olive has had Dylan’s Deeva in his stable for just over 12 months and she has been ultra-consistent in that time, posting five wins and seven minor placings.
From her past six starts she has won races at Canberra (August 24), Corowa (September 17), Cootamundra (September 30) and Leeton (October 8). Her only defeats in that period were at Randwick (September 1) and last start at Warwick Farm on October 24 in a race won by subsequent impressive Flemington winner Pohutukawa.
Apprentice Billy Owen, who has partnered Dylan’s Deeva in all four recent wins, will continue the association if she gets her chance on Thursday.
“She’s really been racing well and we’ve been able to find the right races for her,” said Olive. “Billy knows her so well and has been doing a great job on her.
“The awkward draw won’t be too much of a concern if she does start on Thursday as she has great gate speed and should be able to get across without much trouble.”
Wagga trainer Peter Morgan has already scratched last-start Albury winner Bulala from Thursday’s field, leaving a potential field of 11 runners.
One of the main dangers looks to be the Goulburn galloper Treasure Boss, who should relish wet ground.
Treasure Boss is a two-time winner over the track and distance and was a runaway winner on a heavy track at Albury five starts back on August 21.
The prospect of a heavy track also brings mudlark Gentleman Max right into the reckoning in the Stuart Gordon Landscaping Benchmark 66 Hcp (1500m), race six on the seven-race program.
The Trevor Sutherland-trained six-year-old has won 10 races in his 83-start career – eight of them on heavy tracks.