Racing: Trainer's judgment goes on the line

By Michael Guerin

Millie Sampson was super impressive winning her debut then beat even better opposition last start. Photo / Thinkstock
Millie Sampson was super impressive winning her debut then beat even better opposition last start. Photo / Thinkstock

It takes confidence to advise owners to pay a $17,000 late entry fee into a series with a horse who has raced only twice.

However, co-trainer Josh Dickie is adamant he has pushed the owners of Millie Sampson in the right direction.

The 3-year-old filly meets a strong bunch in tonight's Sires' Stakes heat at Cambridge, for which she wasn't originally eligible.

Dickie and his training partner father John were happy to suggest to Millie Sampson's owners they pay the late entry, even though the pacing filly crop has seen plenty of emerging talent.

"After she won so well first-up we said we wanted to see her go to the next level before any late entry fee was paid," says Josh, in his first year as a trainer.

"But she did that last start and we think she could be something quite special."

Millie Sampson was super impressive winning her debut then beat even better opposition last start.

Tonight though she steps up another level, with exciting filly Lincolns Megastar drawn directly outside her, as well as Pricillas Girl, Sweet Art and Saharazona among her rivals tonight.

Yet Dickie thinks barrier five could prove ideal over the 1700m.

"I thought Lincolns Megastar was the one to beat so having her drawn outside us is a help," he said.

"My filly has shown plenty of gate speed and we will be going forward but if she can't lead then at least we have options."

Sprint racing at Cambridge is all about being on the speed and if Millie Sampson or Lincolns Megastar ran to the front they would be enormously hard to catch.

However, if the speed is on early the race becomes trickier for drivers and therefore punters.

Both fillies are usually very heavily supported and kept safe by bookmakers so it will be interesting to see how the TAB lines them up when markets open for the event this morning.

- NZ Herald

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