Dickie to kick-off solo career
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
South Auckland horseman Joshua Dickie is looking forward to launching his solo training career at Alexandra Park on Thursday night.
Dickie has been training in partnership with his father, John, for the last seven seasons and they felt the time was right for Joshua to take over the reins of the family business.
“I have had a good leg up into the role I am now in,” Joshua Dickie said. “I have still got Dad here, he is still a big part of the team. He is happy for me to take the reins and hope for a bit of success.
“He’s been a great mentor, so to have his guidance there is great. I have been working with him for a while now and to still have him here with his knowledge is outstanding.”
Dickie will take a five-strong team to Alexandra Park’s Thursday meeting where he will kick-off the night with Dreamers Delight in the Breckon Farms Supports The Breeders Mobile Pace (2200m).
“I am pretty happy with her,” Dickie said. “She had her fresh-up run at Auckland last week. She probably was a week away from it, but we thought we would just give her a run and see how she went and I was happy enough.
“She only had a quiet trial at Pukekohe and she hit the line well. Zac drove her that night and when he came back in he was pretty happy with her.”
Last start winner Kuyomi will contest the Betavet Proud Sponsors Of The Standardbred Breeders Mobile Pace (1700m) and Dickie believes she will appreciate drawing the inside of the second line.
“It was a nice win last start,” Dickie said. “She had a good trip. I think the barrier draw is really going to suit her. Buried away on the fence could be a good position for her.”
In-form stablemate Callie’s Delight hasn’t put a foot wrong this prep, winning two of her five starts and placing in the remaining three.
“Callie’s Delight is just a lovely horse,” Dickie said. “She seldom goes a bad race. She had a lot of bad luck in her last start. She carried a flat tyre from a fair way from home and that probably cost her from winning.
“She is drawn (9) to suit and there are some quite handy horses in there. She is a handy mare herself, so if she gets a bit of luck she won’t be too far away.”
Later in the card Dickie is particularly excited to see the return of open-class trotter Paramount King.
The Group One winner last raced on New Year’s Eve and is now being prepared for a tilt at the Gr.1 Dominion Trot (3200m) at Addington in November.
He will kick-off that campaign in the NZB Standardbred Handicap Trot (2200m) on Thursday, however, Dickie said his 45m handicap over the shorter distance may be a bit too much first-up.
“He’s a good horse, but off 45m over 2200m is a long way,” he said. “He has just been a bit slow at the workouts trotting away. If he is a bit slow away on Thursday it should make his job pretty hard.
“I will be just interested to see how he runs on this week. He won’t be there to be driven hard. As long as he is running on well we will be happy.”
He will be joined in the race by stablemate Daisy Hill, the winner of two of her three starts this preparation.
“She is a lovely mare,” Dickie said. “She has taken a little while to get going. She has got a lot of high speed.
“She shouldn’t be too far away and off 10m over 2200m will help her out a lot I think.”
Dickie is excited about the prospects of his stable heading into the new season and he is hoping a few members of his barn will join Paramount King when he heads south to Christchurch in the spring.
“We have got a nice bunch of young horses,” Dickie said. “We ended up with a nice bunch of yearlings, now two-year-olds, this year.
“We had La Bet win a two-year-old race last season. It will be interesting to see what sort of three-year-old we can make of her.
“There are a lot of two-year-olds that have showed a bit at home, so hopefully we can make something of them.
“Paramount King, his goal is to get to the Dominion Handicap this year and I am sure he is capable of winning one of those Group Ones if he has a bit of luck.
“There is plenty to look forward to this season.”