Dickie ‘living the dream’ with Old Town Road

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

To say John Dickie is excited about the future with Old Town Road would be an understatement.

The four-year-old gelding is proving to be one of the most exciting horses in the north, and he boosted that claim with a dominant 2-3/4 length victory in the Kerry Hoggard Memorial – The Holmes D G Handicap Pace (2700m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

“He has been good to us. We are living the dream at the moment, but it is going to get a little harder. It was a good win, we couldn’t be happier,” said Dickie, who also part-owns the horse.

Dickie was pleased to see Old Town Road back at the track on Friday after his spring preparation was nearly derailed following a paddock accident.

“We were very disappointed that he hurt himself and couldn’t start in the Spring Cup,” Dickie said.

“It was a paddock injury. He is in a paddock with posted rails, there was nothing broken but we think he must have rolled into it and hurt his hock.

“We just had to wait for the swelling to come down before we could hopple him.”

The son of Bettor’s Delight is now on a trajectory towards the Gr.1 IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) and will head south to try and gain a berth in the time-honoured race.

“We are going to go to Ashburton with him and leave him plenty of time because his Achilles heel is travelling, he hasn’t been anywhere,” Dickie said.

“Whether he makes the Cup or not, we will just throw him in the deep end at Ashburton and see how he comes out of it and go from there.”

Old Town Road now boasts eight wins and two placings from just 11 starts and his trainer has a stark warning for his rivals, he is only going to get better.

“I still believe he is a year away. It (southern trip) is going to be a huge learning curve for him,” Dickie said.

Old Town Road will likely be joined on the float trip south by stablemate That’s What We Do, who scored a sentimental win in The Rising Hawaii Wahine Toa – Speeding Spur 3YO Mobile Trot (2200m).

“He has been a special horse,” Dickie said.

“I bred him with Richard Bright who died in a boating accident up north about six months ago. To top it all off, it was Richard’s birthday today.

“He has got a motor. I am not sure whether we send him south with Old Town Road or not and start him in the Hambletonian. I will just see how he feels over the weekend.

“At this stage he probably will because he (Old Town Road) needs a travelling companion.”

Dickie capped the night with a treble courtesy of Bettor Than Bronze in The Gem Journey Mobile Pace (2200m), giving Stephanie Burley her first driving win.

“Stephanie has been driving well and has been knocking on the door,” said Dickie, who owns the filly.

“It is a good little breed, they get better with more racing. We couldn’t have been more pleased.”

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