Scott Dickson harness driver.
He can’t take any credit for planning it, but Scott Dickson is more than happy to have recorded by far his most successful season as a trainer this term.
The Hunterville stockman has 23 wins in the bank this term, up eight on his previous best of 15, set last season, and his stakes earned have skyrocketed to over $232,000.
Given he owns every single horse he races, along with partner Lydia Pickford, that’s left Dickson pretty happy.
“I guess we sort of got lucky with buying The Night Hawk and Westar Sam this season.
“That got us on a bit of a roll and we’ve kept it going since.
“Our goal, really, was just to do better than what we did last year.
“And it’s a matter of buying the right horses, which we’ve done more of.
“Like everything, they’ve got to pay their way, but most of them have, which has been great.”
Dickson will, for the fourth week in a row, make the nearly seven-hour trip to Auckland on Friday night with a team of five horses as he looks to further add to his great season.
“There is a lot of travelling at the moment with the local racing finished for the season.
“It’s two days away just to race at Auckland, but with the South of the Bombays series on, and them probably not the strongest fields, it makes it quite an attractive option.”
Dickson’s team is spread across the three series races this week and he’s hopeful that he has the right cattle to give them a shake.
Notorious was an excellent third behind Mogul and Big Mach last week and meets an easier field this week, along with stablemate Westar Sam.
“He hung a bit on the last bend last week and Tony (Herlihy, driver) said he probably would have won otherwise, because it cost him a length.
“I’d like to think if he goes as good again this week that he’ll go pretty close.”
Notorious joined Dickson in March when his previous trainer didn’t want to take him home after a disappointing run in a maiden at Stratford.
Since then, he’s won three races and over $25,000.
“There hasn’t been any real trick to him; probably the main thing was bulking him up a bit.
“As he’s gone better races, his confidence has gone up.”
Two Fiftyeight is another with a similar backstory – basically gifted to Dickson after a maiden defeat at Manawatu in early May.
“I didn’t really want him but the last trainer insisted I take him.”
A win at Nelson followed a month later and he fought on nicely for fourth at Alexandra Park last week.
“His big asset is he tries really hard; he’s not the best horse but he gives it his all.
“He has to be a good chance again this week with the right run.”
Katamach and Red Terror tackle the final heat, in the last race of the night, and both horses have been challenging for their trainer.
“I’d love to win a race with Katamach; I’ve been trying all year to get one with her.
“She’s one of those ones that I thought would win a couple pretty quickly.
“Her first three starts up here she ran three seconds in a row, but then got a bit crook and went off.
“She back running placings again now and hopefully this week it’s her turn.
“Red Terror hasn’t copped a lot of luck but from one he could be hard to beat.
“He’s been hanging and always tries to come wide, so being on the fence should suit him.
“Not a horse you can be confident with because he’s a horse that will let you down, but if the best version turns up, he can win.”
Dickson is working “seven or eight” in total, the number one less after stable star The Night Hawk got claimed at Forbury Park last week.
“He did a super job for us and, because of his rating, it was either go in the claimers or retire him.
“This way, someone else can have a go with him.
“He’s a lovely horse, just way up in the ratings.”