Ash Carter knew exactly who to call first when his punters club claimed one of the 14 prized Kosciuszko slots this week.
"Keith [Dryden] was actually the very first person I rang - he put me in contact with the syndicate manager," Carter said.
Dryden trains Handle The Truth, who won the 2019 Kosciuszko and who is shaping up nicely as a key contender again for the $1.3m feature on October 16 at Randwick.
When Carter and his punters club bought $1000 in Kosciuszko tickets at the Jerrabomberra Hotel earlier this year, Handle The Truth was the horse they dreamed of landing.
"You just kind of go with the most credentialed horse, when you're looking after the interest of 10 other blokes, he was just the best option for us," Carter said.
"I knew a lot of slots got picked up early last year so I just wanted to be a bit proactive and jump into it so I rang everyone I knew who knew about horses. Most of them agreed that Handle The Truth was the best choice for us."
After speaking with Dryden on Thursday, Carter contacted Handle The Truth's owners. Hours later a deal was struck.
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Carter's punters club, made up of a bunch of local mates who play Australian rules football for the Woden Blues, will be entitled to about 40 per cent of prizemoney from the Kosciuszko.
That works out to be almost $275,000 should Handle The Truth claim a second victory in the race.
That's looking a whole lot more likely after Brett Cavanough announced his star mare It's Me, the impressive winner of last year's Kosciuszko, would not be contesting the race this year.
Handle The Truth resumed last weekend, running fourth to Nature Strip in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick.
"He went massive, three lengths off Nature Strip, that's nothing to worry about," Carter said.
Meanwhile, Canberra's September 17 meeting scheduled for Thoroughbred Park has been shifted across the border to Queanbeyan.
The eight-race program will include a Federal Handicap (1200m) likely to be contested by fellow Canberra Kosciuszko hopes Delacour and Zelago.