Schillacking Impresses Heathcote Ahead Of Mick Dittman Plate

Schillacking will make his black type debut in the 2014 Mick Dittman Plate at Doomben on Saturday and trainer Robert Heathcote believes that there is a touch of class about the lightly-raced gelding.

Robert Heathcote has an extremely high opinion of Schillacking who will make his black type racing debut in the Mick Dittman Plate on Saturday.

Robert Heathcote has an extremely high opinion of Schillacking who will make his black type racing debut in the Mick Dittman Plate on Saturday. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Schillacking made his racing debut with a dominant win in the Service Above Self Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast on September 8 last year, despite racing greenly throughout, and was gelded after finishing second in the Rocklea Truck Electrical Handicap (1200m) at Ipswich on October 11.

The son of Artie Schiller returned to racing with a win in the Sky Racing Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on March 30 and was far from disgraced on a heavy track in the Sunshine Coast Falcons Handicap (1000m) on April 20.

Heathcote told Sky Racing HQ that Schillacking still has plenty to learn about racing, but believes that the three-year-old is capable of performing at Group level and is confident that he will be competitive in the Mick Dittman Plate this weekend after he impressed in trackwork this morning.

“He is not only showing promise, but he is a good horse,” Heathcote said.

“He is yet to put it together; he has had four starts for two wins and he has been beaten two times second-up.

“The other day he was on a wet track and I don’t believe that he is a wet tracker, even though he won first-up on a heavy track.

“His work this morning was probably the best in the stable and I don’t mind saying that.

“He is showing us that he has pace at the moment, but he may well get out in distance as he gets deeper into his career.

“From what he is showing us at home and the level of improvement that he is taking this week, he is a horse with a touch of excitement about him.”

The Mick Dittman Plate has drawn a strong list of nominations and is set to include Paul Messara-trained Havana, who finished sixth in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

Kelly Schweida will be chasing his second straight win in the race, after scoring with Better Than Ready last year, and will have Agitate in the field, while 2013 Ken Russell Memorial Classic winner Le Val will return to the races for the first time since he finished 15th behind Zoustar in the BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) last year.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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