Michael Hickmott’s stellar 2020-21 season continued on his home track at Murray Bridge on Saturday winning three of the first four races.
It was a rewarding day in front of good friends, even more so knowing that all three winners – Don’tdreamit’sover, Echoes In Eternity and Pindaric – all have the best in front of them.
“These horses are a little away from their grand final,” Hickmott said.
“You’re going to see significant improvement.”
Echoes In Eternity could be a genuine player over the Adelaide Festival of Racing in May and Pindaric is a horse Hickmott believes will be at his best in the spring. Meanwhile Don’tdreamit’sover showed plenty of fight to beat off rivals, despite being well short of his best distance.
He was full of praise for jockey Jessica Eaton’s ability to slug out a busy finish with a couple of the state’s best and most experienced riders.
“It didn’t quite pan out, they got around her a bit quick,” Hickmott said.
“We know he’s going to want 10 furlongs, (so) you have to admire her strength in the finish. She was so strong against two of SA’s strongest riders, Paul Gatt and Shayne Cahill, and she out-battled them on the line.”
Eaton rode three for Hickmott while partnering Bolt By to victory for Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas to give her a career-best quartet, cementing her position on top of the Adelaide riders’ premiership.
Eaton, 27, has committed herself to SA for the immediate future and now holds an imposing seven-win buffer over Todd Pannell.
“It is a goal, but regardless of whether it happens or not, I’m very proud of where I’m at as a rider and the success I’ve had to date,” Eaton said before the weekend.
“I probably didn’t imagine getting so much success and so many opportunities from moving to another state.
“Things will definitely change once I transition to a senior. It’ll probably be a bit tougher, but I’m willing to work really hard.”
And while Eaton dominated at Murray Bridge there was another milestone 834 kilometres away on the state’s west coast, with Desiree Stra winning Saturday’s Ceduna Cup.
Just days after recording her first winner since making a comeback to race riding after a six-year hiatus, Stra, 34, won the feature with Givepeace A Chance for Des Courtney.
And both Alana Livesey and Felicity Atkinson made their riding debuts at Ceduna, with Livesey into the placings at her first ride.
IMAGE: Jessica Eaton winning aboard Don’tdreamit’sover for Michael Hickmott at Murray Bridge on Saturday. PHOTO: atkinsphotography.com.au