Mick Dittman Australian Jockey
Mick Dittman One Of Australia’s Most Successful Jockeys of all Time
He was also known as the “Enforcer” for his aptitude for not being shy about using the stick when it was necessary. Mick-Dittman.
Between the time when he had his start in the middle 60s as an apprentice for trainer Bill Kraft and when he retired twenty-something years later to become a bloodstock agent in Asia, he had accumulate more than 1700 wins.
Mick Dittman was born in Queensland in 1952. His first racing experience came on the Gold Coast and he was winning when just 16 years of age.
He had his first significant win in 1968 in a race that at that time was called the Gold Coast Newmarket when he took Red Shah to the line ahead of any other.
Ipswich Cup Win
His next big win was the 1969 Ipswich Cup, this time courtesy of Makata.
Dittman’s first Group 1, even though the group classification system was not in place as of yet, was the 1972 Doomben Cup, where he partnered with Knee High.
That was to prove the final time he rode as an apprentice for Brisbane trainer Pat Duff.
Mick Dittman reigned supreme on the Brisbane circuit for most of the 70s, each year raising the tally of victories per season and eventually recording 97 and a half for the 1983/84 season. He put the exclamation mark on his time there when on one day at Eagle Farm, he won six out of seven events on the card and added a second place finish in the seventh.
His high water mark came during the 80s, when he was taken on by T.J. Smith. They concentrated their efforts on Sydney, acquiring for Dittman three Sydney premierships to compliment the five he had picked up in Brisbane. Only Russell Maddock and Bill Briscoe have more Brisbane premierships to their credit.
Mick Dittman Wins Over 1700
Over the course of his career, of his more than 1700 wins, Dittman could brag of 88 victories that would be considered Group 1 by today’s system.
Mick Dittman is also famous, or should it be notorious, for running down Kingston Town whilst aboard Gurners Lane in the 1982 Melbourne Cup. He also won the Golden Slipper Stakes on three occasions: 1981 aboard the Angus Aramanasco trained Full On Aces, again in 1986, this time riding Bounding Away for T.J. Smith, and for the final time in 1993 when Lee Freedman supplied the filly Bint Marscay.
He also won the Cox Plate successively in 1983 courtesy of Strawberry Road for that first and Red Anchor for the 1984 win. He was still winning big races in 1990 when he combined with Tasmanian bred Sydeston for the Caulfield Cup.
Mick Dittman was said to love racing in Queensland to such a degree that it is futile to discuss what he might have added to his tally of major events if he had ventured overseas.
Major Racing Carnivals
It was only the major racing carnivals that were able to lure him into interstate races.
An almost inconceivable facet to Dittman’s career is that he made 28 attempts at what many would consider the race that he desire to win more than any other, the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm.
Mick Dittman supplied other contributions to the sport of racing beyond his personal involvement as a jockey and an agent. His wife, Maureen, served as a trainer, and his son Luke followed in his dad’s footsteps as a rider.
Dittman did eventually venture beyond Queensland and Australia, riding for two years in Singapore prior to becoming a racing manager and bloodstock agent.
He was honoured with inclusion in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002, the second year of that institution’s existence, and a race called the Mick Dittman Plate has been run at Eagle Farm to further acknowledge the profound legacy of one of the greatest jockeys to ever put boot to stirrup.