By Duane Ranger
Former Cambridge and now Clevedon-based horseman Josh Dickie has four good drives at Cambridge Raceway on Wednesday night and the best of them he said comes in the sixth race.
"Express Play is a lovely three-year-old filly trained by Frank Cooney & Tate Hopkins at Taupaki. I've driven her in her last two starts and that has been in stronger company.
“She worked hard in the Nevele R Heat and she runs the gate well. From barrier one she looks the one to beat on paper," Dickie said.
Dickie also takes the drive on Somewhereinbrooklyn for Cooney and Hopkins in race eight.
“I haven't driven this fella before, but Frank is happy with horse and his form reads well. He should be competitive in this field and Frank’s confidence always helps when you get in behind his horses. Because of that I think he’s a pretty good chance here.”
The John and Josh Dickie stable will be represented with three horses on Wednesday, giving Dickie Jr four drives all up and their stable junior Craig Smith, one.
Agincourt (2), who will be having his first start in 2018, kicks of Dickie's night in race one.
“He’s had a few problems this time in and has taken a while to get back to the races. This is his first race since October, but I liked his trial on Saturday where he finished second. Wednesday’s race is ideal for him because he trots nice sectionals and I think he will be reasonably hard to beat if does things right,” Dickie said.
In the fourth race Dickie partners Cullen's Caviar (7) who is looking to redeem himself after a disappointing last start performance.
"We have changed his training around since then and he trialed a lot better on Saturday. He hit the line strong and seems a different horse going by his second behind Major Express last weekend. If he repeats that run he will be in the money," Dickie said.
Smith takes the drive on Lagertha (4) in race two.
“She’s a nice filly having her first start. Craig has driven her all the way through and deserves this drive because he is a good young horseman who is doing a good job for us. Her trial form is good, and I’m reasonably confident that if she can cop the right trip then she’s definitely an each-way prospect,” Dickie said.
Meanwhile Clevedon Hall-of-Fame trainer, Barry Purdon, will be looking to win his second Garrards Sires Stakes 2yo Colts & Geldings Series in the opening non-tote event – which is ironically the richest race ($15,000) on the nine-race programme.
Purdon trained Star Of Montana to win the first heat last month. He has drawn five of five on Wednesday and will again be driven by Scott Phelan.
The 35th Garrards Sires Stakes 2yo Colts & Geldings Series $170,000 Final is at Addington on Friday May 18.
Results of the previous two heats have been:
Heat 1: Auckland TC at Alexandra Park (March 23) - The Barry Purdon trained Star Of Montana (Scott Phelan).
Heat 2 NZMTC at Addington Raceway (March 23) - The Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen trained Jesse Duke (Mark Purdon).
Rolleston trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have trained the last three winners of the Group One Sires Stakes 2yo Final run over the 1950m mobile. They have been Spankem (2017), More The Better (2016), and Chase The Dream (2015).