By Duane Ranger
Impressive Alexandra Park winner of the last two Fridays – Acceptance – will always be special to John and Josh Dickie – in more ways than one.
The 3-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding not only has a promising future but he is also one of the last horses purchased at a Sales by the late Kerry Hoggard.
The former Auckland Trotting Club president and owner of Rosslands Stud passed away in October 2015. Earlier in the year Hoggard paid $75,000 to breeder – Woodlands Stud for Acceptance at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka.
“We always think of Kerry when we work and race the big fella. He’s taken some time but is a real nice type and absolutely jogged it last week.
“Kerry was a big supporter of ours and we will never forget what he did for Dad and I. In some ways the horse lives on through him because it was one of the last horses the great man bought,” said Dickie who has been training at Rosslands Clevedon-based stable with his father John since 2013.
“We want to bring the best out of the gelding for Kerry’s wife,Marilyn. It’s great to see that she is still breeding a few as well. She’s a lovely lady,” he added.
The Dickies have had two preps with Acceptance. He won his only Workout at Alexandra Park on August 6 (2:09.4 mile rate), and then went 7.1 seconds under the qualifying time (2:02.6 mile rate) in a 2200m Trial qualified on the same track six days later.
“He only had that Workout and Trial going into his first race two Fridays ago. He’s a big horse and has taken a while to get him up and going.
“He started real fast on debut and we were in front with two laps to go. Once he’s up and rolling he’s a lovely, clean mover who can run time. I don’t think he realises just how fast he’s going.” Dickie said.
Acceptance won untouched in that $12,400 Grand Harbour Maiden. The $3.80 second favourite paced the 2200m mobile in 2:44.5 (mile rate 2:00.3) and jogged his last half and quarter in 57.5 and 29.5.
Then seven days later Acceptance and Dickie won the R52-R62 Pace by one-and-three-quarter lengths. He was the $1.80 favourite and paced the 2200m mobile in 2:40.9 (1:57.6) with final 800m and 400m sectionals of 57.2 and 28.8.
“We will spell him now for the racing up here at Christmas time. We won’t be rushing him into a Sires Stakes horse.
“Facing the best 3-year-olds so early in his career his a huge ask and for that reason we want to take our time with him. And the same time we are not saying he’s up to that class yet – he’s only just won a maiden – but Dad and I do have a high opinion of him,” said Dickie.
The 25-year-old Clevedon horseman paid a tribute to Glen Harwood who did all the 2-year-old work with Acceptance.
“He’s a different type of horse and he’s taken a while to get going. Glen’s early work is starting to pay off and we are grateful for that. He’s a strong horse who has got a lot going for him – especially breeding,” Dickie said.
Acceptance hails from a Dream Away – New Offer (Surmo Hanover) mare who has left some nice pacers in recent years.
The now 15-year-old Dream Offer, who won one of her two starts, is also the dam of the 13-win ($224,334) son of Bettor’s Delight – Bettor Dream.
The 9-year-old, who recorded a 1.57.3 mile, was Dream Offer’s her first foal. Her second Bettor’s Delight foal – Bettor Offer (1:53) won three of his eight starts in New Zealand before going on to win 14 races all up in Australia and $179,290.
Third foal Delightful Offer (Bettor’s Delight) won three races here and 12 all-up (A$136,946) in Australia. He went a 1:53.6 mile.
Then came Can’t Refuse (Bettor’s Delight) who has won one race. Acceptance is next followed in the breeding order by 2-year-old Bettor’s Delight colt, Ultimate Offer and yearling Bettor’s Delight black filly, Some Do.
Dream Offer was served by – you guessed it – Bettor’s Delight last November – making it seven from seven for the Dream Offer – Bettor’s Delight cross.
“The mare has left some nice foals and all but Bettor Dream have gone well in Australia. If we do things right by this fella and give him the time he needs then he could turn into a very nice racehorse.
“We just hope that he keeps stepping up. If he can develop like Motown did during his latter 3-year-old races then we will both be very happy,” said Dickie.
(As seen on the Harness Racing New Zealand website).