Rather than ease Keith Dryden’s workload, the veteran trainer says he is working harder than ever since going into partnership with Scott Collings.
Since teaming up at the start of the season, Dryden and Collings have trained 14 winners and will chase their first Sydney victory with Beau Tirage in Wednesday’s Pro-Ride Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm.
“It’s going really well. I think we’re doing more now than we ever did,” Dryden said.
“He comes up with ideas, I’ve got ideas. It works in pretty easily like that.”
The only hard and fast rule is Dryden chooses jockeys for horses trained out of Canberra where he is based and Collings picks riders for horses trained at Goulburn.
The pair will both be at Warwick Farm to help handle lively sprinter Beau Tirage.
“He’s a bit of handful,” Dryden said.
“For some reason or another his first run he’s fresh and he’s a pretty strong big boy.”
Despite his good first-up record of two wins from three starts, Dryden is not expecting too much from Beau Tirage after almost six months away from racing.
“I’m happy with the horse he’s going nicely, but he’ll probably benefit from the run,” Dryden said.
“There’s nothing like a bit of match conditioning.”
With apprentice jockey Andrew Adkins’ two-kilogram claim, Beau Tirage gets in with 57kg.
Dryden believes it is a harsh weight for a horse with three country wins to his name from 12 starts.
“I can’t start him in the bush and in Sydney I’m racing against the better horses and meeting them at their terms,” Dryden said.
“I’m no fan of the benchmark system.”
Beau Tirage was bought as a weanling by Jamie Middleton of Redbank North Stud.
He races him in partnership with Mike and Bev Abbott and Dryden’s former vet Kim Jacobs.
“Mike Abbott’s wife is in a wheelchair and she just loves this horse,” Dryden said.
“I take him to the metropolitan meetings as often as I can and then if they’ve got to make a trip they do but I try to bring him down to them if I can.”
Beau Tirage is the $7 second favourite behind the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Dongxing Princess who is at $5.