TOP EFFORT: Winning jockey Luke Dittman guides Sylvester back to the Ipswich enclosure on Saturday.
TOP EFFORT: Winning jockey Luke Dittman guides Sylvester back to the Ipswich enclosure on Saturday. Claire Power

Why classy hoop's winning treble special

GOLD Coast-based Luke Dittman displayed his class as a jockey on Saturday, riding a winning treble on the final weekend meeting for the calendar year at Bundamba.

He holds a famous name being the son of former Australian champion Len "Mick" Dittman, who won three Ipswich Cups as well as the big four of Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Golden Slipper, and Caulfield Cup. Mick had a sparkling career over the last three decades of the 20th century.

On his latest visit to Ipswich, Luke collected wins aboard Sylvester for Beaudesert trainer Ben Ahrens, Justdini for Brisbane trainer Kelly Schweida, and Rallier for Gold Coast trainer Helen Page.

Dittman is a quality rider although his taller stature has restricted his options over the years.

After taking a break due to weight concerns after completing his apprenticeship, he has continued his strong form of the past few years since returning to the saddle, making the most of his opportunities.

Courtesy of the hat-trick, Dittman moved level with Jeff Lloyd and Jim Orman at the top of the Ipswich Jockeys Premiership after three meetings of the new season. Neither Lloyd nor Orman rode at Ipswich on Saturday, preferring instead to visit the Gold Coast for the much higher prizemoney of the metropolitan meeting there.

Sylvester was one of the many favourite runners to win at Ipswich on Saturday. After four previous career starts yielded a couple of placings including one at Ipswich, the three-year-old colt emphatically collected his maiden win on Saturday, streaking away in the straight.

The longest price winner for the day was Rallier in the Happy Birthday Jack Farrell Handicap at $5.50. Rallier was second favourite for that race as was winner Justdini in the first of the day.

Every other winner across the eight-race card was a bet-ting favourite sending punters home happy.

Leading trainer

MICHEAL Hellyer and Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke teamed up on Saturday to keep Vandyke at the head of the Ipswich Trainers Premiership.

The pair were successful with first starter Golden Mean as a $1.70 favourite, giving Vandyke his third season win to remain atop of the ladder one clear of Kelly Schweida. Vandyke also collected close up second placings with his other two runners Tony's Decree and Cuban Saga.

Hellyer also had a good day allround collecting two wins, two second placings and a third. His other winner was Misery for another Sunshine Coast trainer Stuart Kendrick.

Other winning trainers on the day included Steven Thomas (Clifton) with Viceman, Chris Munce (Brisbane) with Keep Your Roses, and Grant Arnold (Dalby) with Brax in the last of the day.

Amazing Winx

TOP class Spring racing commenced with a bang on Saturday as Australia's champion racehorse of the past three seasons Winx set a new Australian record with her 26th consecutive win.

After winning the Group 2 Warwick Stakes over the past two years, at her third attempt the race name had changed to the Winx Stakes and the grading to Group 1. The world's best galloper duly saluted for her 13th career victory taking her career prize money earnings to $19.3m.

A tearful and emotional trainer Chris Waller later referred to Winx as an amazing animal as he guides her along the path to an attempt at a fourth consecutive Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in October - a feat never before achieved in Australia's premier weight for age race.

The official opening of the Spring carnival is on September 1 as the Group 1 Memsie Stakes is contested at Caulfield.

Next meetings

Racing this week at Ipswich is on Friday, followed by Wednesday next week to complete the August program.