Simon Mapletoft on the AWC: Stable Tours – Scott Dixon
Fibresand specialist Dixon is the punters’ friend at Southwell and is gunning to improve upon an impressive 20 per cent strike rate last season.
One of the youngest trainers in the country at the age of 28, Retford based Scott Dixon has been brought up on the virtues of All-Weather racing. His father Paul was the champion owner on the sand when Scott was still riding show ponies. Since taking over at the family’s Haygarth House Stud four years ago, he has enjoyed considerable success with prolific winners such as the speedy Even Stevens. In fact, Dixon excelled at his local track, Southwell, last season, saddling 14 winners at an impressive strike rate of 20% – a performance that yielded a healthy profit of £53.70 to a level stake.
Even Stevens hasn’t got his head in front since dominating a valuable handicap at Wolverhampton in February 2014, and won’t be getting any better at the age of seven, but his record of nine wins from 29 starts on sand – seven of them at his beloved Southwell – makes him dangerous to overlook. “He’s had a short break in readiness for the winter and has been working nicely,” says Dixon.
Similarly prolific on the Fibresand is the mare Abi Scarlett, whose nine career wins going into the new campaign had all come at Southwell. She has been more successful in sellers and claimers and will be targeted at those types of races once again. “I’ve been told she is close to becoming the winning-most filly on the All-Weather which would be a nice milestone to achieve with her,” he adds.
Another stalwart is the admirable old sprinter Sir Geoffrey, who recorded the 15th win of his long career at Catterick at the beginning of October. “Eight of those have been achieved on the All-Weather and he’ll be heading back to Southwell to try and add to that tally as he’s not had a very busy summer.”
Multiple All-Weather winner Best Tamayuz showed he was no one-trick pony when finishing fourth in the Silver Cambridgeshire. “He was unlucky in running that day but will return to the sand in good form. He’s effective over seven furlongs but I think he’s open to improvement up to a mile and a quarter.”
Among the younger ranks is Misu Moneypenny, who won her maiden at Southwell at the first attempt back in May and progressed to follow up in a nursery at Chelmsford in September on only her fourth career start. “She’s is relatively unexposed and resumes on a competitive mark. She’s still progressing and has proven herself on Fibresand and Polytrack now,” adds the trainer.
Penny Dreadful has also shown her liking for Chelmsford, winning a handicap there in September off a mark of 69. Dixon believes there is more to come from this daughter of Piccolo, who ran respectably off a 6lb higher mark at the Essex track a week later.
The future’s also bright for Krystallite, a juvenile daughter of Kheleyf who has shown definite signs of ability in maidens at Wolverhampton and Thirsk. Dixon describes her as “a lovely, scopey two-year-old who has had a break after some very promising runs. We’ll try and win a maiden and progress from there.”