Day At The Track

Hall of Fame beckons for John Dickie

02:28 PM 06 Jul 2017 NZST
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Cambridge trainer John Dickie
Clevedon trainer John Dickie
Shelley Caldwell photo

The man who has trained 14 Group One winners, could find himself nominated for the New Zealand Trotting Hall Of Fame, following this Friday’s meeting at Alexandra Park.

The Clevedon horseman has currently trained 499 winners, and only needs one more to qualify for the ‘Hall of Fame’s’ criteria of 500 training wins or 1,000 driving successes.

Dickie and his son John only have two trotters nominated for this Friday’s Auckland Trotting Club’s meeting – C K Spur in race five and Arethusa Spur in race seven.

“They are both each way chances without labeling them. Both by Pegasus Spur and that stallion has been very good to me over the years, so it would be appropriate if one of them did win.

If either of them does get up it will be a feat I’ll be proud of, especially because the 500th will be with Josh. He’s a good kid and good listener. I really enjoy working with my son. I think most fathers would. We go alright together,” 56-year-old Dickie said.

Dickie said it would be special if either horse won because both sets of owners had been long-time supporters of Dickie.

"Basil Blackwell owns Arethusa Spur with me, and he has been an owner of mine since day one. He has been a long-time committee member (30-plus years) of the Cambridge Club and it would be great to win the 500th for him.

"Kevin Foley and Karen De Jongh-Kennedy have also been loyal supporters so if either horse won on Friday I'd be rapt for the owners," Clevedon-based Dickie said.

"Without owners we are nothing," he added.

Dickie trained 364 winners ($2.7m) solo from 1984 to 2013 including four Group One winners in New Zealand and four in Australia.

In 2013-2014 he joined forces with his son, Joshua, and together they have trained another 144 winners ($1.6m). They have jointly trained three Group One winners in New Zealand and three in Australia.

His total career wins would be more like 520 if you counted his Australian victories as well, but it’s been a long road since he nailed his first winner when Meadow Man (Sean McCaffrey) dead-heated with the Ian Hilliard trained and driven Guy Adios at Hawera on May 29, 1984.

“I remember that day very clearly. I bought Meadow Man for a couple of thousand dollars with Sean and he proved to be an okay horse.”

Dickie had to wait eight months for his next victory. That was when he trained and drove Classic Dee to a three-length victory at New Plymouth on January 11, 1985.

The Dickies also have a grand chance of winning the Alexandra Park training premiership if one or both can win on Friday.

They currently have 24 winners at "The Park' this season - two less than the pace-setting Hall of Famer, Barry Purdon.

All up the Dickies have trained 36 winners ($410,054) in 2016-2017 - eight less than their personal best recorded in 2014-2015.

Dickies 14 Group One wins have been
New Zealand
2011: Paramount Geegee in the Northern Trotting Derby; the New Zealand Trotting Derby; the Ruby 3YO Trot; and Flying Isa in the Ruby 2YO Trot.

With Josh in NZ:
2017: Paramount King in this year's 2YO Ruby Trot.
2015: Speeding Spur in the New Zealand Trotting Derby; and the Northern Derby.

Australia:
2016: Speeding Spur (with Josh) won the Great Southern Star.
2015: Speeding Spur (with Josh) won the Victoria Trotters Derby and the 3YO Breeders Crown title.
2014: Flying Isa won the 2YO Breeders Crown Final and the Australian Trotters Final.
2010 & 2011: Paramount Geegee won the 2YO and 3YO Breeders Crown.


Duane Ranger

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