Steamin to success in Ipswich
FORMER Ipswich premier trainers enjoyed a trifecta of wins as the Queensland Winter Carnival moves into top gear.
Among the winning trainers at Ipswich’s Wednesday meeting was Matt Dunn from Murwillumbah. He’s the only interstate trainer to win an Ipswich Premiership.
Dunn’s winner was Steamin’ with Ronnie Stewart aboard. The five-year-old had not won since 2015 and had failed to place for a year.
Previously trained by Marc Conners at Warwick Farm, Steamin’ transferred to Dunn a few months ago.
Despite missing a place in three runs for his new trainer, the punters got it right at Ipswich backing Steamin’ into equal favouritism.
A promising pointer to the win was when Steamin’ placed fourth at Ipswich at his previous encouraging run on Labour Day. That Labour Day run was the first for Steamin’ at Ipswich.
The results of these two runs would presumably make Ipswich a favourite track for the Dunn stable runner.
The other two former Ipswich Premier trainers to collect winners last Wednesday were Robert Heathcote with Not a Happy Camper, and Tony Gollan with Prue’s Angel. These gallopers were ridden by former South Africans Jeff Lloyd and Robbie Fradd respectively.
Gollan cleared out to 17 season winners from Not a Happy Camper’s success. He is now six in front of Marcus Wilson and looking odds-on to take out his third consecutive Ipswich Premiership.
Heathcote moved equal third with Michael Nolan on eight wins with two and a half months left.
THE riding talent of Luke Dittman was on display at Ipswich last Wednesday as he picked up two wins from three rides to become the only multiple winning jockey or trainer across the eight race card.
His famous riding father Mick was a regular winner at Ipswich in the 70s, picking up Ipswich Premierships and three Ipswich Cup wins.
In the 1980s, Mick Dittman went on to become arguably the leading jockey in Australia winning three Sydney Premierships riding for the powerful T J Smith stable.
Mick Dittman won the “big four” Group 1 races amongst his 88 Group 1 successes. Few jockeys have been able to complete the quartet as he did winning the Melbourne Cup (1982 Gurner’s Lane), Cox Plate (1983 Strawberry Road), Golden Slipper (1981 Full On Aces), and Caulfield Cup (1990 Sydeston).
Mick Dittman’s first Group 1 winner was the Doomben Cup in 1972, two years after winning his first feature race on Makata in the Ipswich Cup.
Luke Dittman has limited opportunities to show his undoubted talent due to his battle with weight restrictions from his taller stature. However, his ability to make the most of oppor- tunities is shown in his high career strike rate of 17%.
For this calendar year alone, that win rate is at 20%.
FIVE weeks of Queensland Group 1 racing commenced on the weekend with the Doomben Ten Thousand. Back to 1200 metres, a strong field was assembled and the race was won by Redzel with Queensland jockey Jim Byrne aboard.
Placegetters in the Ten Thousand were all from interstate as Counterattack and Derryn placed behind the dominant winner.
Derryn was ridden by Ipswich-raised Regan Bayliss as he continues to rise through the ranks.
Shocking Luck shows class
NEW Zealand galloper Shocking Luck placed second at Ipswich on Labour Day. On Saturday, he showed why the New Zealand champion jockey and last season’s Caulfield Cup winner Opie Bosson came to Ipswich that day for one ride. Shocking Luck was being primed for group racing during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Shocking Luck won Saturday’s Group 3 Rough Habit Plate with Bosson aboard again.
The Queensland Derby in four weeks would appear a likely target for the impressive staying type.
Ipswich is racing on the Show holiday Friday this week, before Wednesdays, May 24 and May 31 prior to a break leading to the Ipswich Cup on June 17.