Dickies win four at ‘the Park’
By Garrick Knight
What a difference a week can make.
Eight days ago, John and Joshua Dickie late-scratched their entire team as a precaution against a potential contamination issue.
Last night at Alexandra Park, the father-and-son training partnership prepared four winners at Alexandra Park and only a brilliant performance stood between them and five.
“It’s been a good turn around and it was nice to get that winning feeling back,” Joshua Dickie told HRNZ.
“We had a nice team in and you sort of hope they’ll race well but it never usually works out like that.”
The wins of Kay Cee, Bettorstartdreaming, Brydon Earl and Callie’s Delight matched the four winners the pair produced at a meeting in September of 2016.
Bettorstartdreaming won the night’s $25,000 main pace, a 2200m standing start, redeeming himself from the tapes after a misstep in the Te Awamutu Cup when last produced.
“Cambridge was a disaster and wasn’t really his fault.
“He’s a versatile sort of horse and from the front line we had to take advantage if he stepped away.”
After settling second, Bettorstartdreaming was pushed back to third so Dickie made a concerted effort for the lead, but eventually settled for the trail behind Kotare Cullen.
“I wanted to keep him handy and I knew what he was capable of.”
Despite a strong late dig from race favourite The Devils Own, Dickie always had things in control with the New Zealand Cup-nominated pacer.
Star pacer Star Galleria made an early error from his 30-metre handicap and was one hundred metres behind the field thereafter, along with Dance Time.
Next week’s Spring Cup is firmly on the agenda for Bettorstartdreaming, before the Dickies start to look south.
“We really want to get him to the Sales race at Kaikoura and we’ve also nom’d for the Cup.
“You’ve got to have goals.
“He’s a lovely stayer in the making and will definitely make an open class horse one day.
“He’s got the speed and stamina to be a factor in most races.”
Dickie says a taxing run back in March spelt a premature end to what was a promising three-year-old campaign.
“He worked too hard in the Derby trying to cross Ultimate Sniper and it undid him.
“So, we backed off him, turned him out and he has come back a lot stronger.
“I definitely think he’ll win a nice race somewhere down the track.”
Kay Cee had run four seconds in his last five starts so no-one was begrudging the five-year-old son of Majestic Son a win in the R47-55 trot.
But Dickie thinks it might be time to ease up and reset for next year.
“He’s had a few issues so has really come a long way from where he was.
“We’ll probably just back off him now because there are a couple of things we need to sort out.
“He’s fast and does have a bit of stamina. Next year will be his time – I think he’ll make a decent trotter eventually.”
All the talk was for West Auckland pacer Cloud Break in the night’s male maiden pace after a super performance over the mile last week.
Bookies opened him at $1.50 and never flinched but a lack of ringcraft saw him get bested by the Dickie-trained Brydon Earl in the hands of Zachary Butcher.
The five-year-old son of Art Official was the second-last horse bred by the late Bryan Newberry, whose family race him in his memory.
He looked handy in five races last season but really showed a nice turn of foot to win his resuming run last night.
“He’s been a bit unlucky; he got crook and a few little things haven’t gone his way,” said Dickie.
“But his trials have been really good over the last month and I think he’s turned the corner.
“Zac said he won well tonight and felt good.”
Rounding out a memorable night was Callie’s Delight, who showed too much speed for main rival M T Pockets in the first South of the Bombay series races.
“I was pretty confident because her trials had been great and her first up run a Cambridge was good without much luck.
“She’s another that has turned the corner and just gotten that little bit stronger.
“She has that real high speed and in a field like that, it’s always going to be really potent.”
The Paua Diver nearly made it five for the night, but he got monstered late by Copy That, who had to run a sub-55 second half to reel him.
“He’s just run in to a good horse on the night, but I was really happy with his run, too.”
The Dickies are hoping to capitalise on this kick-starting of their season by rolling out some quality horseflesh in the next few weeks.
“We’ve got a couple of nice maidens there, including one that had a couple of starts for ‘Coaster’ Howe up here last season.
“There’s also a good bunch of two-year-olds and, while it’s hard to know with any certainty, we are pretty excited about what they’ll do going forward.”