By 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.”