By Adam Hamilton
JOSH Dickie’s Melbourne holiday just got a more exciting.
Dickie came to Melbourne with partner, Sammy Kilgour, to watch her star pacer Bling It On chase the Hunter Cup.
But now Dickie has picked-up a Group 1 drive himself, aboard the Andy and Kate Gath-trained McLovin in Saturday night’s $250,000 Great Southern Star at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Kate Gath was expected to wait until tomorrow night’s (Tuesday) barrier draw to choose her drive, but has already committed to former Inter Dominion champion Tornado Valley.
“Kate’s definitely driving Tornado so we offered Josh (Dickie) the drive on McLovin,” Andy Gath said. “Josh helped look after McLovin for us when he was in NZ and the Dickie’s also gave Kate a drive on Speeding Spur during one of his trips to Melbourne.”
McLovin led and was rundown late when third to Temporale in the Group 1 Dullard Cup at Melton last Saturday night.
“We expected him to go a little better, but the lead time was quick and he had to really sprint-up down the back when Oscar Bonavena made his run at us,” Andy Gath said.
“Maybe we’d also been a bit kind on him going into it, so hopefully he’ll be better for the run. I’m sure he’s right up to the best ones if he’s right at his top.”
Tornado Valley skipped the Dullard Cup after galloping the in the score-up, losing valuable ground and finishing second in the Cochran Cup behind Dance Craze on Ballarat Cup tonight.
That gallop in the score-up caused more of a headache that just the Ballarat defeat for the Gaths with Tornado Valley placed out of the draw and requiring two trials to be re-included.
“He’s had the first trial and will have the second at Melton tomorrow (Tuesday),” Andy Gath said. “Providing he does everything right in the trial, he’ll be back in the draw for this week, which is obviously crucial to his chances.”
A front row draw is vital for Tornado Valley, who is unbeaten in Australia when leading since he moved here two years ago.
The draws for the Great Southern Star and Hunter Cup are later than usual, being held as part of a Caduceus Club function at the Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow (Tuesday night).