WYLIE Dalziel is caught in a whirlwind of emotions.
The Ballarat racehorse syndicator will experience the biggest day of his professional life at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney today.
His syndication operation Roy Higgins and Wylie Dalziel Racing has a runner in the group 1 $3.5million Golden Slipper, 1200 metres.
Leading trainer Peter Moody will saddle up filly Bring Me The Maid for Dalziel and her 50 owners in the two-year-old classic.
For Dalziel, in racing terms, it is the highest of highs.
And that’s just being in the field.
Just imagine what it will be like for Dalziel and his entourage if Bring Me The Maid wins.
For all involved though, they also make their way to Rosehill with some sadness, with one of the key figures in acquiring Bring Me The Maid and making it all possible, champion jockey Roy Higgins, missing.
Higgins died last month after falling ill in January.
He lived just long enough to see Bring Me The Maid win the listed $120,000 Sports 1000 over 1000m on debut at Flemington on March 1.
Fittingly, it was on Roy Higgins Quality day.
Dalziel said he was able to take the trophy to Higgins’ bedside that afternoon – a moment that will stay with Dalziel forever.
If that isn’t enough, the Bring Me The Maid camp will also have to deal closely with the death of Sydney jockey Nathan Berry on Thursday.
Berry’s brother-in-law Chad Schofield will ride Bring Me The Maid, having been aboard the filly in each of her three race starts.
Dalziel said trainer Moody had confirmed yesterday that Schofield would be fulfilling the riding engagement despite the family tragedy.
For Roy Higgins and Wylie Dalziel Racing, Bring Me The Maid’s story began when she was acquired for what is now a bargain price of $105,000 at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales on the Gold Coast in January last year.
As well as being by boom sire Sebring, she is out of the same maternal family as 2003 Golden Slipper winner Polar Success.
Dalziel said patience was key in getting Bring Me The Maid to the barriers for one of Australasia’s premier races.
He said the initial aim had been to get to the races during the Melbourne Spring Carnival, and it looked on target when she finished second to Oakleigh Girl in a trial at Cranbourne in mid-October.
Unfortunately, she pulled up shin sore and they lost any hopes of a spring campign.
However, what the spring did provide was a formline that enhanced the prospects of Bring Me The Maid even
without her hitting the track.
Oakleigh Girl won the Melbourne Cup Day race that had been their key target for Bring Me The Maid.
She then scored in the listed Calaway Gal Stakes, 1010m, at Doomben before finishing second to Unencumbered in the Magic Millions Classic.
The wait for Bring Me The Maid getting to the track finally ended on March 1 – and what a day that was.
From there, they were able to take it race-by-race.
He said obviously getting to the Golden Slipper had been the dream and this ambition had been locked in with victory in the group 2 Magic Night Stakes, 1200m, at Rosehill on Saturday.
Dalziel said from then on it had been all about enjoying the moment.
“This is what I emphasise to my owners. Enjoy it. You don’t always have to win.”
And despite everything else, the Ballarat father of four is focusing on just that.
Dalziel said although there were no Ballarat-based owners in Bring Me The Maid, his Ballarat clients were also enjoying the ride.
Dalziel has enjoyed a great run since the formation of Roy Higgins and Wylie Dalziel Racing seven years ago.
He has had a string of winners, including Black Caviar’s full brother Moshe, which is now in demand at stud.
Dalziel is hopeful today might produce the biggest of them all.
Whatever she does, as a black-type winner Bring Me The Maid has already ensured a big future on and beyond the track.
HOOFNOTE: Roy Higgins and Wylie Dalziel Racing picked what now looks to be an absolute bargain at this year’s Magic Millions Yearling Sales on the Gold Coast – a full sister to Bring Me The Maid for $110,00.
One can only wonder what she might be worth if her big sister salutes in the Golden Slipper.