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Dittman out to claim race named after his famous father

Champion-Jockey-Mick-Dittman.JPGBy Jordan Gerrans

Ahead of the annual Listed Mick Dittman Plate this Saturday at Doomben, the son of the legend rider says he would rate winning the race higher than a Group 1 victory.

Luke Dittman, Mick’s son who is forging his own career in the racing industry, has gone close to winning the race named after the Australian Racing Hall of Fame member, but is yet to break through.

Back in 2016, then still an apprentice, Luke, finished second in the sprint feature, beaten 1.5 lengths on the Kevin Kemp-trained Second on Sold.

He would love to add a Listed Mick Dittman (pictured) Plate to his resume as early as this week, or in the not too distant future.

“Everyone is chasing Group 1’s but for me personally, it would be pretty big if I could win the Mick Dittman Plate one day,” Luke said.

“For us and the history books in our family, it would be special, there would not be many jockeys that can say they had won a race named after their father.

“It would be pretty special if I could get up on Saturday.

“There are not many jockeys with their boys going around riding these days, so it would be nice to pick it up, to be honest.”

The 29-year-old Dittman has 18 metropolitan winners to his name so far this season.

He was booked to ride the Chris Waller-trained Clairvue Star in Saturday’s race named after his father but the three-year-old gelding will now not go around at Doomben.

Clairvue Star is accepted for a Benchmark 68 Handicap at Ipswich on Wednesday afternoon.

As the powerful Waller team has opted for Ipswich instead of Saturday, Dittman is hopeful of picking up another ride in the race.

The 68-year-old Mick Dittman, a winner of most of the biggest races in Australia, has only in the last week returned to Singapore after a 14 month stint in Australia.

Mick usually splits his time between Singapore and Australia, around eight months overseas every year, with his role as a racing manager but following the pandemic, he resided on the Gold Coast for over a year.

The son of the legendary jockey will often reach out for advice.

“I would not be an idiot to not pick his brains about my riding, even to today,” Luke said.

“He is the first one to bag me if I do something wrong (laughs).

“If I ring him up, even before I bring up racing stuff, he will tell me where I made a mistake or did something he would not have, but it is great to have him there like that.

“His CV is a bit better than mine, so I better take note.”

R1-So-Taken-Chris-Waller-Luke-Dittman-5.jpgLooking ahead to the upcoming TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, Luke (pictured) is hopeful of snagging a black-type race or two through his partnership with champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller.

As one of Waller’s main men in the Sunshine State, Dittman is mindful of regular Sydney riders Hugh Bowman and James McDonald collecting the bulk of his best chances come carnival time.

But he is hopeful of picking up a good one here or there, too.

“It is great and obviously to have his backing is huge,” Luke said.

“He is the biggest stable in the country and with the carnival rolling around, it is exciting.

“Obviously there will be a few of Chris’ riders coming up from Sydney, but I am hopeful to get a few here or there of his good ones.

“It would be nice to take out a big race at some stage as there will be instances where he will have four or five runners in a race.”

Luke has been a key cog in the Waller army for just over a year now following riding a string of winners for him at the start of 2020 and then lifting Sure Knee and Another Dollar to win Group 3 races at Doomben.

Waller is likely to bring Nature Strip and Kings Will Dream, among others, to Brisbane for the upcoming TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

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