Nick Olive and Richie Bensley bring up century with Highland Secrets

Goulburn jockey Richie Bensley picked to ride Miss Liffey, which won, rather than Nick Olive’s second-placed horse. Photo: Jay Cronan Goulburn jockey Richie Bensley guides Miss Liffey to victory at Canberra. Photo: Jay Cronan

Canberra trainer Trevor McIlrick says the fact Nick Olive splits his rides between two stable riders makes his century of wins with jockey Richie Bensley “an even better effort”.

Olive and Bensley achieved the feat with Highland Secrets’ head-bobbing win over Gratz Vella’s Keep ‘Em Guessin’ in the benchmark 60 handicap (1200 metres) at Canberra’s Thoroughbred Park on Sunday.

The pair could have been excused for thinking it might not happen on Olive’s home track after $1.90 favourite Calaway Cruizer was mown down in the shadows of the post to lose by a half-length to Exhilarated in the previous race – the maiden plate (1600m)

McIlrick teamed up with Bensley for a winner in the first race of the day, with the Goulburn hoop guiding Miss Liffey home for a one-length victory in the benchmark 65 handicap (1000m).

Ironically, that salute came at the expense of Nick Olive’s Lock The Doors, who Bensley had been given the option to ride, but the 33-year-old likes Miss Liffey and opted for the Al Aseel filly.

“That’s a mighty effort, don’t you worry, a combination like that. To ride, I don’t know what the time span is, it’s not that long, it’s a mighty effort, a mighty effort,” McIlrick said of Olive and Bensley’s feat.

“With Nicko sharing between Brendan Ward and [Bensley] it probably makes it an even better effort.

“Put it this way, it’ll take him a long time to get to 100 winners with me anyway. I haven’t got the numbers like Nicko and never intend to.”

Miss Liffey has now won four of five starts and will either head back to Sydney or go to the paddock.

McIlrick said he wait to see how the three-year-old pulled up before making a decision whether to add one more run to her four-start preparation or go for a spell.

He said if he did push on then it would be back to Sydney.

McIlrick will take Got The Goss to Rosehill next weekend for the benchmark 93 handicap (1400m) – unless it’s a wet track.

“Then we’ll decide where we go after that. There’s some nice races in Melbourne over Christmas-New Year so we’ll see what happens there,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of things fall in place for a change – as long as it doesn’t rain, that’s the only thing.

“His three bad runs last preparation were on a wet track, he just doesn’t handle it.”

Canberra Racing held a Tara Costigan Foundation race day, to raise money and awareness for the charity that helps victims of domestic violence.

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