Dickson heads premiership after opening night

Molly Dooker on her way to winning at the Cambridge Raceway on Thursday night - Chanelle Lawson
Molly Dooker on her way to winning at the Cambridge Raceway on Thursday night

Chanelle Lawson

Hunterville trainer Scott Dickson found himself in an unfamiliar position on Thursday night, leading the National Trainers’ Premiership.

The Rangitikei horseman started off on the best foot on the opening night of the season, securing two wins at Cambridge Raceway.

“It was definitely good to get on the leaderboard quite quickly,” Dickson said.

Dickson’s first victory of the night came by the way of recent stable addition Molly Dooker who had previously been prepared in Canterbury by Mark Jones.

“Stu Valentine had her on his website, so we purchased her from there from Mark Jones,” Dickson said.

“I didn’t really know how she would go on Thursday, she had only been here for a week, so all the credit goes to Jonesy really. We just put her on the truck, turned up and she did what she did.”

Dickson was pleased with her efforts and hopes that she can add a second win to her tally at some point.

“She hit the line quite well,” he said. “If she can win another one that would be very good.”

Bettor’s Delight mare Ale Ale Kai capped the night off well for Dickson when taking out the Sept 5th Faulty Towers At The Races Mobile Pace (2200m).

It was the second consecutive win for the four-year-old at Cambridge and Dickson said she is improving with time.

“She is getting better all of the time, David (Butcher, driver) said he was quite pleased with the way she went.

“She hit the line well and is starting to race a bit more kinder and is getting more genuine.”

Both mares are former South Island runners and Dickson has found a successful formula in acquiring southern stock in recent years.

It is a method that helped Dickson post his best season tally to date last term, with 24 wins and nearly $250,000 in stakes from his boutique stable.

“It was a bit unexpected, but it was pretty good the way it ended up,” he said. “We are working eight at the moment, if we could improve on last season it would be good.

“It was probably a couple of seasons ago that we started to get more horses (from down south). We have slowly got more and more and that is the main reason we have got more winners.

“It is obviously a little bit of a drop back here (in the Central Districts). It gives them a bit of confidence and that is the key I think, getting confidence into the ones that have been chasing around in Canterbury and down south.”

Trading through digital platforms has been a great assist to Dickson and he is hoping the recent launch of standardbred.gavelhouse.com will help him and others acquire and move on stock.

“If we can, we move them on after they have met their mark,” Dickson said. “Hopefully gavelhouse.com takes off and that will create a bit of interest hopefully.”

Dickson and his partner, thoroughbred trainer Lydia Pickford, are also kept busy running a dairy farm and Dickson said he is looking forward to the Central Districts circuit resuming in October.

“We are always pretty busy,” he said. “There is always something on the go, we are in the middle of calving now.

“We have got a couple of staff who help us on the dairy farm, and on the other farm, and we just all work in together to get the job done.

“There are plenty of long days. It’s about four and a quarter hours up to Cambridge. We just go up and back, so it ends up a late night and an early start.

“You have just got to do what you have to do. It will definitely be a lot easier when the Central Districts circuit starts back up. A 40 minute drive as opposed to four hours makes a big difference.” - Cambridge Raceway


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