Star Witness Gelding wins $1.3 Million Kosciuszko

 In 2017, News

The $1,300,000 Kosciuszko at Randwick restricted to 12 NSW country-trained horses plus two from Canberra, has been one of the most popular innovations in recent times and Saturday’s winner Handle The Truth rewarded two stalwarts of the industry in trainer Keith Dryden and Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s Louis Mihalyka who heads a large syndicate of owners in the son of Star Witness.

Also celebrating the win was the 40-strong Shellharbour TAB Punters Club, who selected Handle The Truth after drawing a ticket in the $5 sweepstakes in September.

Albert Tory is the syndicate manager of the Shellharbour TAB Punters Club told Racing NSW that “there’s 40 punters in the horse, I picked the horse and I was worried I might have made a mistake.

“What a trip. We are living the dream, the richest country race in the world.”

Handle The Truth came to Saturday’s race off a couple of barrier trials at Canberra and a fifth behind Signore Fox at Randwick two weeks back.

“I said if he runs top five I’ll be happy, if he runs top three I’ll be ecstatic and if he wins there will be a party on,” Dryden told AAP.

“I’ve trained winners on Melbourne Cup day and down the straight six, I’ve had a few winners.

“But this is the biggest prize money we’ve ever won. I think there’s going to be some champagne and prawns.”

Dryden said the win would change the lives for the better for a lot of people.

“Some of them are pensioners and one of them said to me ‘Keith if we win this I’ll have some money in the bank’,’’ he said.

Bred by the Laurel Oak Assertively Syndicate, Handle The Truth advances his record to seven wins and a second from 13 starts with earnings in excess of $1million.

He is the second foal of the Bernardini (USA) mare Assertively who had been purchased by Laurel Oak Bloodstock for $155,000 out of the Rothwell Park draft at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Assertively didn’t threaten the scorer in three starts however she is a daughter of the talented racemare Assertive Guest, a 3-time winner in Melbourne who finished fourth in Mnemosyne’s Group 1 MRC Thousand Guineas at Caulfield.

Assertive Guest is a granddaughter of Hula Mime, a sister to those grand performers, Group 1 Doncaster Handicap hero Hula Chief and Group 1 Gorge Ryder Stakes winner Hula Drum.

A full sister to Handle The Truth was purchased by Ben Ahrens Racing for $60,000 at this year’s Magic Millions March Yearling Sale.

The Group 1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and Group 1 VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Star Witness is presently covering his ninth book of mares at Widden Stud at a fee of $27,500.