By Michael Guerin
The key to why Josh Dickie may be one of the big movers in the New Zealand training ranks could lie in what he won’t be doing with Inter Dominion champion Winterfell this summer.
Which is racing him.
And the racing Gods could repay Dickie for his impending patience with a group win of a different type this weekend regardless.
After a brief but very successful partnership with his father John, Dickie is now out on his own account after his father took a step back from fulltime training.
Josh has already had good success but his career looks set to go on a steep improvement curve as better horses start to come under his care.
One of those is Inter Dominion Trotting champion Winterfell who has just joined the stable and while he has been a flop in the South Island this season, his right handed record last season made him trotter of the year.
“It is a real privilege to get a Trotter of the Year given to you,” says Dickie.
But rather than be too eager to show off his new toy, Dickie has decided to spell Winterfell for a month, the sort of patience few young trainers would have in a similar situation.
“It is the right thing to do because his head is a bit all over the place at the moment. Both Mark (Purdon) and Regan (Todd) did their best to get him going left-handed down there but he doesn’t like it as much as right handed, which we all know.
“So rather than keep going we will ease up on him and start again, aiming at the Rowe Cup.”
Dickie won’t have to wait so long for his next shot at group one trotting glory though as he has Mexicana in the two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown at Melton in Victoria tomorrow. With Anthony Butt driving and the filly drawn one she is the favourite.
“She is a lovely filly also owned by Trevor (Casey, owner of Winterfell) so we are fingers crossed for Saturday night cause we love the Breeders Crown,” says Dickie, who had a remarkable strike rate at the Victorian series with his father.
Dickie takes a small but smart team to Alexandra Park tonight but finds himself off a difficult handicap with talented mare Callie’s Delight (R7, No.6).
She won well in a good field last Friday but is back on a 25m handicap over 2700m tonight standing right alongside the north’s most improved pacer South Coast Arden, who has been starring in open class.
“I really like this mare but South Coast Arden has been flying so being back on 25m with him is hardly ideal,” says Dickie. Dickie fans could be better advised to go each way on Tricky Ric (R6, No.4) the race before in which the stable also has last-start winner Sertorius.
“Sertorius won well last week but he goes back to 35m tonight because of that while Tricky Ric is only off 25m. They have been coming up together and there isn’t much between them so that makes Tricky Ric the better chance.”
Both may struggle to hold back maker Credit Master at bay though, especially if the early tempo lets the Cambridge trotter into the race too easily.