Into the Red’s win in Group 3 $175,000 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday could not have been a better catalyst for promising young jockey Luke Dittman who will begin life as a senior rider in the new racing season which begins in August.
Dittman admits that the winners have been scarce over the last few weeks so he was more than delighted to ride a Group 3 winner for Eagle Farm trainer Kelso Wood over the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
“I’ve had a dry spell for about three weeks where I haven’t ridden a winner so it was nice to win a feature race,” Dittman said after the Healy Stakes win.
“That’s probably the biggest win of my career alongside the Ken Russell (on Royal Tithe).
Dittman’s other feature race win was on Royal Tithe for Sunshine Coast trainer John Zielke in the Group 3 $125,000 Jaguar XJ Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on May 7.
Dittman has ridden forty-one metropolitan winners so far this season and even though he can’t ride the lightweights, his 1.5kg allowance did come in handy for trainers with the highly weighted horses.
When Dittman does come out of his time at the end of July, he will lose his allowance and be on an equal footing with the rest of the senior riders.
This period always is a battle for apprentices who have to mix it with the senior riders on equal terms but Dittman feels he has shown effort to keep the winner’s coming.
“The next period of my career is going be difficult but I have some good support around me now so hopefully I can kick on,” Dittman said.
Several trainers have already shown their faith in Dittman by engaging him to ride their horses in non-claiming races and as well as Wood legging him up onto Into The Red in the non-claiming Healy Stakes, Eagle Farm trainer Lindsay Gough was also happy to engaged him on two year old Wake Up Victa in the Listed $100,000 Wintergarden Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday, a race in which apprentices were unable to use their claim.