Business as usual for Dickie
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
While Auckland is currently under Level 3 restrictions, Clevedon trainer Joshua Dickie said with racing still allowed to occur under strict protocols at Alexandra Park on Thursday it has just been business as usual for his training operation.
“With Level 3 at the moment it’s just business as usual for us, which is great,” Dickie said.
“It is pretty normal. We are still racing and we are here on the farm all the time, so it is no different for us.”
Dickie’s team wasn’t affected by the exclusion of Auckland-based horses at Cambridge Raceway’s meeting last week and he said he doesn’t mind the regionalisation of racing at the moment.
“We didn’t have anything in at Cambridge last week,” he said. “Ben Aubron, who works for us, he had his trotter (Xebec) in, so he missed out, but we don’t have many racing down in Cambridge at the moment, so it wasn’t a concern for us.”
Looking towards Thursday, Dickie will take five runners competing at Alexandra Park’s meeting, including Group Three performer Sertorius who will contest The Alex Bar & Eatery Handicap Trot (2200m).
The seven-year-old son of Muscles Yankee began his preparation with two runner-up performances, but Dickie has been disappointed with his last two unplaced outings.
“He was pretty disappointing in his last start, but since then he has had a slight layoff and a workout last Friday,” he said.
“He has trained on pretty well, but there are a couple of handy trotters in there on Thursday that are going well.
“He probably needs a bit of luck, but he should be thereabouts.”
Stablemate Dreamers Delight will attempt to break maiden ranks in the Jeremy Young Racing Stables F&M Mobile Pace (2200m) and Dickie is happy with the four-year-old after her last-start placing at the Auckland track.
“It was a handy maiden field last start and it’s no exception this week, if anything it looks a bit stronger,” Dickie said.
“She is consistent and tries hard and will just need a bit of luck against a couple of those maidens of Barry’s (Purdon, trainer), they look pretty sharp, but she won’t be far away.”
Kuyomi is another stable runner who has been pleasing Dickie of late, having recorded her maiden victory two starts back before finishing runner-up in rating 55 grade last week.
“Kuyomi had a good run last time. She jumped up from a maiden straight into that, so I was pretty happy with her,” Dickie said.
Five-win mare Callie’s Delight hasn’t put a foot wrong this time in, winning two of her six races and placing in her four other starts.
Dickie has been duly impressed with her efforts and he is expecting another bold showing on Thursday.
“Callie’s Delight is going really well,” Dickie said. “She was a bit stiff not to win the other night, she just got a bit too far back on the pegs and made up really good ground up the lane.
“If she races like that again she will go pretty close.”
Later in the night Cyber Attack will make his raceday debut in the Auckland Co-Op Taxis 300-3000 Handicap Trot (2200m).
The four-year-old son of Andover Hall won his 2500m trial at Pukekohe on Friday, but Dickie is expecting it will take a couple of starts for the gelding to find his way on race night.
“Cyber Attack is a nice little trotter,” he said. “He is probably in a week early, but he needs the race night experience, hence why he is going around on Thursday.
“He is one to follow. I do like him and it will probably take him a few starts to get the hang of it, but when he does get it right I think he will win a couple of races soon enough.”