He’s booted home 88 Group One winners and now The Enforcer, Mick Dittman, has teamed up with Sportsbet for a series of blogs over the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Dittman begins with a look at this weekend’s Golden Slipper, where he’s gone outside of the two favourites in search of the winner.
Please credit Sportsbet should you wish to quote.
Once again the Golden Slipper will bring together some quality two-year-olds. It looks a tough race, but unlike a lot of people I have not written off Headwater as one of the main chances.
I’m inclined to forget his last run when he finished third to Slipper favourite Vancouver.
I think Blake Shinn tried to ride Headwater a bit cute from the outside barrier.
If you go back to his previous start, when he won the Silver Slipper, it was a different story. That day Headwater pinged the gates and Blake got him moving, he won well and looked a class act.
After drawing barrier 11, I have no doubt the horse will be right there on the speed. It won’t surprise if Team Hawkes put a set of blinkers on the colt, which could make him jump out of the ground. He could easily improve four or five lengths.
Obviously Gai Waterhouse has a great chance to equal her late father Tommy’s record of six Slipper wins.
Like her dad, Gai is a masterful judge of juveniles, she has definitely inherited his eye for a horse.
She buys plenty of yearlings each year, but invariably she comes up with several above average two-year-olds.
Waterhouse will have three Slipper runners on Saturday. Any one of them could win, but the one I prefer is the favourite Vancouver.
He’s a lovely big strong colt and keeps getting better with each run. Gai keeps saying he’s top quality and I reckon she’s right, he’s a tough horse and will take a power of beating.
Looking ahead, another horse I have not written off for The Championships is Lankan Rupee, in particular for next month’s T.J. Smith Stakes. It won’t surprise if Lankan Rupee bounces back from his Newmarket defeat, especially if ridden differently.
In sprint races I never went out with a set plan, especially on a horse like Lankan Rupee.
It seemed as though jockey Craig Newitt had it in his mind to ride the horse quiet. When the gates opened Craig grabbed hold, which just gave away a couple of lengths straight away.
Instead of leading or running second, Craig was content to sit off them. When Brazen Beau sprinted, Lankan Rupee, who was lumping 58.5kgs, was left behind. It just might have been a bit of a brain fade on the day for Craig.
In saying that you have to hand it to Hong Kong based international jockey Joao Moreira.
His ride on winner Brazen Beau was brilliant. The slow speed played into his hands. Instead of being a couple more lengths off the leaders he was two lengths closer than he should have been.
All of a sudden a mile wide gap appears. Brazen Beau pings away and with no weight on his back nothing was going to catch him.
Runner-up Chautauqua was another horse that was back further than he should have been. It seems most of the jockeys, except Joao, had their minds made up before the gates opened.
It is great the international riders are attending our carnivals. We still have plenty of home grown talent like Damien Oliver, Hugh Bowman, Craig Williams, to name a few, who can match it with them anywhere on the world stage.
However Joao doesn’t make too many blues. Yes things seem to happen for him and he reads the play well, but maybe he is just so damned good.
Good luck over the carnival.