Dickson hits a home run
By Garrick Knight
As far as quick returns on investments go, Scott Dickson has hit a home run with his latest buy, Thunderfromthethrone.
He followed up an impressive win at Manawatu on Friday night with a similar performance less than two days later on the grass at Otaki.
“I got a bit lucky there, I suppose,” he told HRNZ modestly.
Dickson, partner Lydia Pickford and their friend, nearby galloping trainer Dean Cunningham, only purchased the son of Auckland Reactor a fortnight ago.
“Full credit has to go to Steven McRae and Craig Thornley, really.
“I’ve had him less than a fortnight and done bugger all with him – they did the hard work.”
Dickson says Thornley, who works for McRae, rung him and offered him the horse between the Nelson and Marlborough two-day meetings.
“He asked if we were keen on buying him, and we were.
“That was before Blenheim so he raced for us there and ran fourth both days.”
In both wins over the weekend, Thunderfromthethrone benefited from a solid tempo meaning he could find his feet and roll over the top of his opponents down the straight.
“He looks like he’s got quite a bit of speed about him that allows him to get over the top of them late.
“He’s been a bit lucky that they ran hard up front both days, but it all worked out.”
The horse will now likely have to take on the ‘top’ horse in the region meaning due to his rating and Dickson is hopeful he rises to the task.
“You never know, but he seems to have settled in nice and I think he’ll continue to do a good job.”
Dickson has really expanded his business model over the past 12 months, ramping up the number of horses he sells on overseas.
This of course means he’s buying more stock.
“It’s important to send the right ones overseas because if they go good, those buyers will come back and get another one of you.”
Already, Dickson is finding that is the case.
The key, he reckons, is not to get too invested in what he paid for a horse when deciding its future because some horses will be duds and others will be gems.
“Take a horse like Frankie Jones – he was one of the dearer ones I’ve brought and I think he’ll be lucky to win one race for me.
“Whereas The Bandit Queen was cheaper and is doing a good job; she’s a nice mare.
“I actually had her sold to America for good money but then she fell at Cambridge and the deal fell through.
“When you get one like her, you catch up pretty quickly on some of the others that might not have worked out.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to move them on rather than trying to chase your money, especially in to the next season.
“That’s when you’ll get burnt.
“I’d sooner retire them and move on to the next one.”
Finding horses isn’t as easy as you might think for Dickson and, surprisingly, he says his phone doesn’t get blown up by people offering horses from the south island as much as you might think.
“Often we have to ring and chase them, actually.
“But we’re finding the prices are too high at present and it’s hard finding the right ones.
“Sometimes you pass on one and later on think, I probably should have grabbed that one, but it also works the other way too.”
As for Thunderfromthethrone, Dickson doesn’t expect the phone to be ringing from Australia just yet.
“We’ve got the guiders on him because he’s a wee bit narrow in front, and that’s normally a problem when you are trying to sell them on.”