By Duane Ranger
Caboolture trainer Stewart Dickson is of the opinion that his evergreen star Lancelot Bromac could crack 400 starts after winning the last race at Albion Park on Saturday night by the most slender of margins.
“I think he’ll get to 400 all right,” Dickson said.
“He gets upset if we leave him behind on race-night, he just loves to race and if he had his way he would get to 400 this season!”
It was the 10-year-old gelding’s 26th win in 358 starts, 25 of which have come from a record 331 races in the city.
On January 25, Lancelot Bromac and regular driver, Dannielle McMullen broke the unique Albion Park record, where previously, the grand old campaigner Destreos had lined up a whopping 323 times at ‘The Creek’ between September 2009 and July 2017.
Destreos raced 484 times for 101 wins and earning $827,169 in prize money, while Lancelot Bromac has also placed 102 times, and banked $289,879 in purses since he made his race-day debut back in May 2012.
Lancelot Bromac made his debut with an eighth place on the former Gold Coast track on May 11, 2012, where Shannon Price trained him for his first five starts before Dickson took over when he was two on August 7, 2012.
“He’s part of the family and he just wants to go to the races - he’s an old war-horse and has no idea that he’s 10,” Dickson said.
“I’ll just keep racing him until he tells me to stop, but at this stage he’s never been fitter.”
The 71-year-old horseman, who has been training standardbreds for half a century, thought ‘Lance’ would be tough to beat, and earlier in the week drive Danielle McMullen echoed his sentiments by stating he would be tough to roll.
“He’s my only drive on Saturday, he went well on Tuesday and I think he can go close again,” McMullen said pre-race.
Speaking after the race, McMullen was full of praise for the horse she has regularly drove over his eight-year career.
“It was worth waiting for, and when I got the gap I thought he would be hard to beat,” McMullen said.
“I think I first got a drive on him when I had a concession claim and I’ve been one of his regular drivers since.
“He’s been such an honest horse and nothing’s changed, he still goes out there and does his best.”
Dickson endorsed McMullen’s comments, saying Tuesday’s 1660 metre run had “next time” written all over it.
“I thought he might go close too, after racing well earlier in the week,” Dickson said.
“However, I was a bit nervous turning for home when he was three-deep along the markers.”
But it was a cool McMullen drive that got the bay home.
Jilliby Gizmo and driver Ricky Gordon set a torrid pace out in front, which played into Lancelot Bromac’s hands.
They paced the 2138 metre mobile in 2:34.1, which equated to a 1:56 mile rate.
The winner’s sectionals were 28.6, 29.6, 29.1, and 30.5.
“That was a good win, I knew if he got clear air he would run home strongly,” Dickson said.
“I got him off Tony Price when he was two, and I broke in a lot of horses for Tony and he didn’t think the horse would make it in his stable.
“Mitchell Manners, who calls thoroughbred races in New South Wales, is also a part-owner in the pacer.
“He’s one of seven I’m working, I’ve also got a nice Tasmanian pacer named Rocknroll Turbo.
“But this fella has a great constitution and it would be silly to retire him when he’s racing as good as he ever has.”
Meanwhile, the individual highlights on Saturday came from two of Australia’s best horsemen and women, with Nathan Dawson and KerryAnn Morris nailing two winners a piece at ‘The Creek’.
Dawson, who has now won 117 races this season (12 more than second-placed Paul Diebert), won behind the Morris trained favourite Kleened Out in race four.
Half an hour later, he again saluted behind the Greg Franklin trained Three Mugs In.
New South Wales second-ranked trainer, Morris, has now won 70 races thanks to her victory in race two when Adam Sanderson drove Bettor To Be Tricky home by 3.1 metres.
The winning drive was a great way for the New Zealander to celebrate, on the eve of his 31st birthday.