The Queensland Sport Awards will acknowledge one of the state’s finest jockeys tomorrow night with Mick Dittman to be inducted as a legend in the Hall of Fame.
Born and raised on the outskirts of Rockhampton, Dittman will become just the second jockey behind George Moore to receive legend status, joining sporting luminaries such as Kieren Perkins, Greg Norman, Wally Lewis and Cathy Freeman in the exclusive club.
During a stellar riding career that featured more than 1700 race wins, ‘The Enforcer’ rode 88 Group One winners including the 1982 Melbourne Cup on Gurner’s Lane.
Having captured back-to-back Cox Plates aboard Strawberry Road and Red Anchor in 1983 and 1984 – along with three Golden Slippers riding Full On Aces (1981), Bounding Away (1986) and Bint Marscay (1993) – Dittman became a ‘grand slam’ winner in 1990 after steering Sydeston to victory in the Caulfied Cup.
“I feel very honoured and I am really looking forward to the night,” Dittman told the Courier Mail.
“I had an average upbringing and limited schooling. Where was I going to meet the Kings and Queens?
“I am thankful for my journey and what the game has given me.”
Serving as an apprentice to Bill Kraft on the Gold Coast during the 1960s, Dittman rode his first Group win in the 1970 Ipswich Cup as he guided Makata to victory.
He dominated Brisbane racing throughout the ‘70s with five premierships and setting a record for the most wins in a season with 97.5.
A regular at the southern carnivals during that time, Dittman moved to Sydney in the mid-1980s to become the number one rider for the Tommy Smith stable, securing three premierships whilst there.
Having spent time in Singapore before returning to the Gold Coast, Dittman reflected fondly on his time in the saddle.
“I would do it all over again, no qualms about that,” he said.
“I do miss it but it is a young’s man game and it is a dangerous game. You don’t bounce when you get older.
“When you hit the ground at age 50 or older you hit it like a block of timber. Nothing bothers you when you are young.”
Racing Queensland congratulates Mick Dittman on his induction as a legend in the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.