Dittman hoping to keep it in the family with Doomben win

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Luke Dittman is hoping that his only ride at Doomben on Saturday can be a winning one when he partners Shaquero in the race named after his father, the Listed Mick Dittman Plate (1110m).

Having been “stiff” to not win the race previously (2nd in 2016), Dittman admits that it is a race he would love to win more than most jockeys for obvious reasons.

On Saturday, he will ride the 2021 Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Shaquero in the AU$130,000 race for champion trainer Chris Waller.

Having ridden Shaquero once under race conditions as a two-year-old and once in a barrier trial prior to his debut Group 3 victory, Dittman believes the horse has a winning chance if he can find his best form and improve under the Queensland sunshine.

“It’s probably one that I want to win more than most people, so it would be nice if I can get him over the line,” the jockey told HorseBetting.

“I have (ridden in the race) a couple of times – I think I’ve run second, which is stiff, but obviously it’s pretty high up there on my bucket list considering it’s the old boy’s race. It’d be nice to have that next to my name.

“When I sat on him (Shaquero) as a two-year-old I really liked him and then obviously he came out and won the Group 3 (Breeders’ Plate) in Sydney and then he came back and won the (Magic) Millions.”

Dittman said that the gods were against him on Magic Millions Day, as he was originally booked to ride the colt, but he is hoping that thigns can swing in his favour on Saturday in the Listed feature at Doomben.

With plenty of speed on paper in the race from the likes of Prince Of Boom, Alpine Edge and Glistening, Dittman is hoping to get a nice run in transit from barrier three and give his mount every chance of returning to the winner’s stall for the first time in over 12 months.

“They’ll go flat out as they do in those sprint races and there’s a couple of handy horses in there,” he said.

“I should be able to put him where he’s comfortable from three and I’m hoping he just gets a run in behind them and produces his best and runs over the top of them which would be nice.

“I haven’t spoken to Chris since I’ve been booked, but I thought the same thing (that Shaquero hasn’t been at his best this season), when I was offered the ride I looked at his form and thought it’s a little bit disappointing, but then you go through the horses that have beat him like Wild Ruler and Nature Strip.

“He’s only a three-year-old and he’s shown he’s a good horse. No offence to anything else, but he probably drops in the grade of what he’s been running in and then he comes to Queensland – he obviously likes it up here.

“I’m just hoping that he can find a length or two. He’s probably a better chance than his 20 or 30 to 1 which he will be on Saturday.”

Bovada has opened the three-year-old as a +2500 chance to take out the race first-up on Saturday, while he also a +2500 hope in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at the back end of the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

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