40 year drought broken for trainer, Pat Dillon.
Published 22 May 2023
The glorious uncertainty of racing prevailed at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park races last Thursday when trainer Pat Dillon ended a 40 years winning drought.
That came about just after 2.12pm when Gilbert’s Gold (Warwick Satherley, $8.50), bred and raced by Dillon and wife Louise won the Maiden Plate (1100m).
The smiles on the faces of the couple were priceless as they greeted “Gilbert” in the winners‘ stall.
In a stop-start training career, Pat a retired butcher from Clermont revealed his last winner was Scarlet Bridge out in the Central West in the eighties.
Little wonder Pat and Louise were savouring the moment as well wishers offered their congratulations.
I for one thought “how good is that” sentiments I conveyed to the winning grinners with Pat stuck for words replying “ great, just great”.
Which it was for the popular couple and dyed in the wool racing man Pat but it was about to get even greater.
Just over two hours later that afternoon there they were again basking in the glory in the winners’ stall but this time it was double the celebrations.
The couple’s Hyperion Star (Adrian Layt, $5.00) gave them a never to be forgotten day with a convincing win in the RB 0-55 Handicap (1600m).
After holding a trainer’s brief in one form or another for almost 50 years, it was Pat Dillon’s first training double.
Not to mention of course that earlier in the day Pat had recorded his first Rockhampton winner from his “two horse” stable.
Given the time frame since his previous wins with old Scarlet Bridge, Thursday’s winning results proved Pat Dillon to be a classic devotee of the saying “all good things come to those who wait”.
Furthermore, in proof of his patience and belief in his horse, Hyperion Star was having his 22nd start for trainer Dillon since acquired from Grafton in April 2021.
It only goes to prove that hope springs eternal and yes indeed patience does pay.
Pat Dillon and Louise “retired” to Rockhampton a few years back after selling their Butcher’s business in Clermont.
Up until then Pat had been the president of the Clermont Race Club and prior to its closure also held that duty at his hometown in Capella.
So after a hiatus away from training for 14 years the bug bit again shortly after they relocated to Rockhampton from where at Callaghan Park racecourse Pat trains his two horse “winning team”.
As an aside, the win of Gilbert’s Gold was also former Kiwi jockey Warwick Satherley’s first winner since renewing his licence just a few weeks earlier.
It was just at his seventh ride back in nine days after Warwick’s last race ride in New Zealand on Mr Forrest Gump on February 6, 1997.
Satherley and his partner have moved to a property on the outskirts of Rockhampton.
The jockey didn’t have to wait long for his next winner just 48 hours later at Emerald on Our Stormy Girl last Saturday.
Rest assured judging by the way Pat Dillon’s Gilbert’s Gold and Hyperion Star won, he won’t have long to wait either for his next winner.