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Michael Dickinson is back training
04 Aug 2015 09:09
Michael Dickinson is making a return to the training ranks in America.
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Famed for sending out the first five home in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup, he showed his versatility by making a successful switch to training Flat horses in America.
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He handled the talented but fragile Da Hoss, who won two Breeders' Cup Miles, two years apart with only one other run between victories.
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Since his retirement in 2007, the 65-year-old has been overseeing the development of the Tapeta all-weather surface.
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"I had no intention of going back to training," Dickinson told Thoroughbred Daily News.
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"I felt we could have done better. So I'm doing this to prove to myself that I can do better. That's it"
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"But during my time (away), I started all the time looking for new (training) ideas. The last three years I've been trying those new ideas, but most of them failed. That's a fact of life, but we've found a few that do (work).
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"When I trained before, once we bought the farm, we won eight Grade One races. But I was never really happy with the results. In fact, I wasn't remotely happy.
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"I felt we could have done better. So I'm doing this to prove to myself that I can do better. That's it. But I'm going to enjoy it, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've got the enthusiasm and energy of a 22-year-old, and I'm fit and healthy."
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When asked how his methods were going to differ from before, Dickinson explained: "A lot of technology. More experience obviously. We're going to have everything we had before, and a whole lot more.
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"We didn't limit (the recent testing of training methods) to one thing.
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"It was conditioning, technology, health. Better warning signs - looking for the 'orange light' before we see the 'red light.' Of all these things together, it's difficult to say which is going to be the most important. Probably none of them are that important on their own. It's going to be an aggregate of marginal gains.
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"I have a few clients who have told me that if I ever start training again, they'd send me a horse or two. We won't have horses for at least another month, and I wouldn't imagine we'll have that many this fall. This type of training is quite labour-intensive, quite intense, so I don't want too many."
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