Josh Dickie thinks Mille Sampson is destined for stardom.
And she will need to be if she is to beat a quality field, including last season’s star 2YO filly Venus Serena, in Friday’s Group 2 Ladyship Stakes at Alexandra Park.
“Obviously it is a step up for her but I think she will handle it,” says Dickie. “She gives me a feel that not many horses I have driven have,” he enthused.
Dickie thinks Venus Serena is without a doubt the horse to beat in Friday’s $75,000 co-feature.
“She has been there and done that and she can make her own luck if she has too,” said Dickie, of the three-time Group One winner.
Millie Sampson has won all of her three raceday starts to date in emphatic style, but has led in all of them, something that she will not be able to do from her 10 draw on Friday. However, that does not concern her co-trainer – driver.
“She is such a relaxed horse, so I don’t think it will matter where she is in the running,” said Dickie. “The only reason she has led in all of her starts to date is because she has such high gate speed,” he confirmed.
Dickie recently drove Millie Sampson in behind at the workouts and clocked her to come last half in a tick under 55 seconds to win by two lengths.
“I was super impressed with the way she went and that should have topped her off nicely for Friday.”
Millie Sampson burst on to the racing scene on October 4, when she dragged a flat tyre for the last 1000 metres and still won in a time of 2-42.6.
“We have always thought that she was pretty good, but that confirmed it,” said Dickie.
“Not many horses do that on debut,” he added.
Dickie will also steer the unbeaten Locharburn on Friday and, while he could very well keep his perfect record intact, Dickie warns punters not to take ridiculously short odds about the Christian Cullen three-year-old.
“If he runs straight he should win, but he would want to handle the track a bit better than he did last week,” declared Dickie. “Originally Kevin (Chapman) was going to start him in the Northern 3YO Stakes but after the way he handled the track last week he has opted for this race, which I think is a good option.”
“I think by the time his main target, the New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Final, comes around he will be fine and more than capable of matching it with the best of them but at this stage there are a couple of question marks over him,” Dickie concluded.
Meanwhile, Blair Orange will look to make it two wins from two drives on superstar mare Adore Me when he pilots her in the Northern Breeders Stakes.
“I was going up to drive a few others, and Mark (Purdon) is very busy at home, so he has given me the honour,” said Orange.
“The $1.10 looks great value,” he laughed.
The Ladyship Stakes and the Northern Breeders Stakes are just two of five group or listed races at Alexandra Park on Friday. The other three are: The Lyell Creek Stakes, the Franklin Cup, and the Northern 3YO Stakes.
Rossland Lyell Creek Stakes (Gr2): Stent, Boizel, Dr Hook, Irish Whisper
Ladyship Stakes (Gr2): Millie Sampson, Venus Serena, Rocknroll Arden, Lincolns Megastar
Northern 3YO Stakes: Maxim, Sky Major, Someardensomewhere, Regulus
Northern Breeders Stakes (Gr3): Adore Me, Spirit And Desire, River Polka, Splendour
Franklin Cup (Gr2): Easy On The Eye, Pembrook Benny, Besotted, Jarcullembra
By Mitchell Robertson