Southern raiders descend on Auckland
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Trainer Joshua Dickie’s Clevedon Barn has been a popular northern base for a number of southern raiders of late and two of them will be hoping to take home some northern riches on Friday night.
The Brad Williamson-trained Cracker Hill and Phil Williamson-trained Ultimate Stride have settled in well at Dickie’s and will contest the Listed PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Final Mobile Trot (2200m) at Alexandra Park.
“They have settled in like they have been here before,” Dickie said. “They are good doing horses and they trialled really well at Pukekohe last week. They both seem really well.”
Dickie will take the reins behind four-year-old entire Ultimate Stride who takes a picket fence form line into Friday’s contest.
“He has won his last seven, with a couple of them being Group One races,” Dickie said.
“He is pretty tough. I got a good feel of him last Friday at the workouts. He is a horse Phil thinks a lot of and he has given him a big rap which gives you a lot of confidence.”
While Dickie is looking forward to getting in the cart behind the southern raider on Friday, he is excited about the prospects of a couple of his own runners at Alexandra Park.
In form trotter Mexicana will be vying to make it back-to-back wins when she lines-up in the Happy Birthday Trevor Casey Lone Star Handicap Trot (2200m).
The daughter of Muscle Mass had four prior placings from as many starts and Dickie expects another bold showing from the filly after drawing the one marble.
“She has trained on well,” he said. “I expect a good run. It’s only her second look at the tape, but she is pretty sensible. If she trots away she should be hard to beat.
“It is a bit tricky when you do draw one, being the first to turn in, but she has got a good head on her shoulders.”
It will be Mexicana’s final hit-out before joining Luke McCarthy’s stable ahead of a Breeders Crown campaign.
“She is quite a nice trotter who is off to Melbourne next week to take on some races over there,” Dickie said.
“She has got the Redwood Classic on November 1 and then a Breeders Crown heat and all going well the Breeders Crown Final later in November.”
With COVID-19 travel restrictions in place Dickie is unable to head to Australia, but he believes she will suit McCarthy’s barn.
“It’s disappointing, but you can’t do a lot about it with the current circumstances,” Dickie said.
“I would have loved to be taking her over and driving her over there, but it’s not going to happen this year unfortunately.”
Later on the Alexandra Park card, Dickie will line-up Kay Cee and Daisy Hill in the Majestic Son at Alabar Handicap Trot (2200m).
“Kay Cee is going really well,” Dickie said. “He is just genuine and ran third to Bolt For Brilliance last start. He was last turning for home and was the only one to make ground to run third.
“He trotted a great post-to-post time and the race suits him. Starting off 30m and Temporale has got to give him an extra 25m, so that should make it a bit better for us.
“He is a real trier that horse, he never goes a bad race. He will give another good sight.”
Dickie holds more reserved expectations with Daisy Hill who finished unplaced last start after a couple of victories.
“Daisy Hill was disappointing last start,” he said. “We have treated her for a few things since then, but she hasn’t line-up for over a month now. Her form prior to that was really good.
“She is a trotter that if you catch her on the right night she has got a lot of ability, but she just has a few issues.
“She is good enough to trot away and make it hard for the rest of them. She is really tough. I am pretty happy with her progress since that last run.”
Meanwhile, Dickie is hoping maiden trotter Cyber Attack brings his manners on Friday when he lines-up in the Peak At Alabar Trot (2200m) after galloping away at Cambridge last weekend.
“Cyber Attack let me down on Saturday night,” Dickie said. “He blew the start to bits. He is just learning and will take a few runs I think.
“He trotted really well at Auckland when he ran second. He is a horse to keep following. Once he works it out he should do a nice job.
“There is another maiden in there that goes really well (Mountain Mass), one of Tony Cameron’s, it should be the one to beat.
“But if Cyber Attack trots away he should get some money.”