Dryden stretches stable star for cup

VILAKAZI STREET will race over the mile (1600 metres) for the first time in Sunday's $100,000 Goulburn Cup, with trainer Keith Dryden hoping his star galloper can run out the distance.

The six-year-old has not raced over a trip longer than 1400 metres in his 29 starts, but Dryden believes Vilakazi Street's efforts this time in demonstrate the extra distance could suit him.

''I hope he'll run it out,'' Dryden said. ''His runs indicate that he'll run a mile, but only time will tell.''

Vilakazi Street finished midfield in his latest effort at Flemington 17 days ago, and although eighth, he far from disgraced himself, finishing four lengths off the winner.

''In his last run in Melbourne he was still finishing it off over the 1400 [metres],'' Dryden said.

Although possessing a winning strike rate of almost 25 per cent, Vilakazi Street is yet to run a place from four starts this campaign, let alone win, but Dryden believes his charge has had excuses for his lack of results.


''He has either been carrying big weights, or the one time where he didn't have a big weight he drew a terrible barrier,'' the Canberra trainer said.

''Overall his form has been pretty good.''

Vilakazi Street will race at the Goulburn track for the first time in Sunday's event, but Dryden is not concerned that apprentice hoop John Kissick - whom he holds in high regard - is engaged to ride the six-year-old.

Kissick has finished in the top two in both his rides earlier this year aboard Vilakazi Street, but will take on stronger company in Sunday's race.

''He's ridden the horse before and won on him, so he knows the horse,'' Dryden said. ''I rate Johnny Kissick as a very good rider, so I was happy to put him on.''

Vilakazi Street will jump from barrier seven, and Dryden is hoping that the six-year-old can settle somewhere in the first half of the field.

''We'll just get him covered up somewhere in there - fifth or sixth, so hopefully he can get a crack at them in the straight,'' he said.

''He's in the race at the right weight - on the minimum, so he'll probably have every opportunity.''

Dryden's other galloper Daryl will jump from barrier 11, and rises considerably in class.

The Canberra trainer is not raising the bar high for the son of Delzao, having placed the six-year-old in the event as there are no other viable options for him in the area.

''If he runs a nice race and picks up a bit of prizemoney I'll be happy,'' Dryden said.

''But it's more just to keep him rolling along for when we do find a race for him.''

■ SUNDAY'S meeting will include fashions on the field, plenty of entertainment for the family and live music from local bands.

Gates open at 11am, with the first of eight races to start at 1.10pm. The last event on the program is at 5.26pm.