By Glenn Davis
Jockey Luke Dittman will make a rare appearance at a metropolitan Saturday meeting when he rides Matt Dunn’s star sprinter Care To Think at the Gold Coast.
Dittman, 28, was a former top apprentice before his career stalled due to increasing weight and injury.
The son of Australian Hall Of Fame jockey Mick Dittman now concentrates on the provincials at the Gold Coast but is looking forward to riding Care To Think in the Open Handicap (1200m).
“I haven’t ridden at a town meeting on a Saturday for around nine to 10 months,” Dittman said.
“I rode Care To Think when he ran third in a Gold Coast trial recently and he went quite well.
“If he’s half as good as when he won the Magic Millions Cup last year he’d win easily.”
Care To Think hasn’t raced since failing in the Listed Ramornie Handicap at Grafton on July 10.
The six-year-old’s career was derailed after he won the Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast in January last year.
“He developed a few tricky habits like holding his breath,” Dunn said.
“He had throat surgery which was a success about 18 months ago but one of the side effects is getting infections.
“He seems to be going okay at the moment and he’s barrier trialled twice when he won at Beaudesert and ran third at the Gold Coast.”
Dunn remains hopeful Care To Think, a winner of six of his 18 starts, can rediscover his old form this campaign.
“At this stage I’m just taking it race by race but if he happened to win well on Saturday, we might work out a program and take him south for the spring,” Dunn said.
Dittman has won two Group 3 races during his career aboard Into The Red in the Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm and Royal Tithe in the Ken Russell Memorial at the Gold Coast in 2016.
He also won a Listed race at Flemington in 2015 on the John Zielke-trained Worthy Cause.
Dittman finished second to Dan Griffin in last season’s Gold Coast jockeys’ premiership after spending several months sidelined with a back injury.
“I’ve got a cracked disc in my back which will need surgery eventually,” he said.
“It’s stable at the moment and it’s not giving me any grief so hopefully I won’t need surgery for about five years.”
Racing Queensland webnews August 21