Patterson’s Fond Flying Amy Memories

We catch up with Mick Patterson in the lead up to a big night of racing at Albion Park this Thursday including five heats of the Flying Amy Classic.

Adam Dobbin

12 June 2019

MICK Patterson is as proud a New South Welshman as you’d find.

Based up in the beautiful Clarence River town of Iluka, Patterson is best known for the heroic race track deeds of his champion chaser He Knows Uno, the son of Primo Uno winner of 34 races and almost half-a-million in prize money throughout his decorated racing career.

“He’s still going strong the old boy, he’s just on 11 now,” said Patterson in the lead up to Thursday night’s Flying Amy Classic heats, now worth a whopping $75,000 to-the-winner following another significant cash injection by Racing Queensland late last week.

“You have to commend Racing Queensland for everything they are doing, it’s good news after good news for participants and the confidence up there is on the up.

“For New South Wales trainers’ in the northern rivers they are basically forcing us to race up there – the $60 starter fee is a big plus as well. It really is time for NSW to get their act together and follow, I don’t want to sound critical but we’ve got a great opportunity to move ahead as an industry, we just need direction.”

On the racing front, Patterson ventures to Albion Park this Thursday night with talented litter-mates Just His Style and What About It, each drawn box two for their respective Flying Amy qualifiers, the series bringing together an all-star cast of group class greyhounds.

The veteran conditioner is no stranger to victory in the Flying Amy Classic, claiming the then Group 3 feature back in 2011 with his grand campaigner He Knows Uno.

“It was worth $15,000 the year he won it so it’s come a long way since then which is great to see,” said Patterson.

“They are quality heats this Thursday night and it is fantastic just to be part of it all, they (RQ) have been rewarded for all their great work with some terrific racing on Thursday night.”

As well as five heats of the Flying Amy, Thursday night’s bumper Albion Park program also plays host to two cracking heats of Group 1 Gold Cup over the 710 metres, with Victorian Tornado Tears the star attraction, looking to defend his title.

For the record, Patterson also guided He Knows Uno to victory in that event back in 2012.

And the Group 1 Winter Cup, which gets underway in two weeks’ time and this year carries a cool $250,000 to-the-winner?

Well, He Knows Uno finished second in that behind Iso Octane in 2011, a fortnight on from his Flying Amy triumph.

But for good measure, he won Queensland’s other flagship Group 1 sprint, the Brisbane Cup, in 2010.

In fact, he just about made Albion Park his own during his stellar career, more than holding his own interstate as well, including a sensational second to Radley Bale in the 2011 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park.

But, back to this Thursday night.

“The bitch, What About It, is very strong, she could get further but the way she’s going I’ll keep her to the 500 for now,” said Patterson of the daughter of Barcia Bale and Killara.

Lining up in race six, What About It is pitted up against Charmaine Roberts’ sensational last start 29.56 winner Don’t Mind Me, as well as fellow ultra-talented NSW gallopers King Cratos and Good Odds Harada.

“I bought her and her brother as pups – I don’t usually go for blue ones but my niece Kirsten said she wanted her as a pet when she retired so I thought that would be perfect, knowing she had a home for life,” the trainer said.

“She had a win and a second to start her career at Albion Park last December but then came on season and I lost a good four months with her.

“I threw her into the Futurity when she came back and she ran third in a heat and fourth in the final from a bad box. It’s hard to be too confident in such a good field on Thursday but with the right run she can run around 29.70 there I’d say.”

In race four, Just His Style will be chasing four wins on the stretch for Patterson, tackling boom NSW galloper Feral Franky (box 8) and hugely talented Victorian, Whiskey Riot (box 6).

“He’s not as strong at the end of 500 as his sister but he’s beginning flawlessly and he’s well drawn near the fence – he really does need the rail,” added Patterson.

“I always say you need a good 3-4 runs at Albion Park before you hit your peak there and he’s got the experience on his side.

“It’s another terrific field, he’ll need to lead and probably see a bit of trouble behind but I can’t fault how well he’s going.”

Looking forward to some high intensity racing at The Creek over the next month, Patterson is also looking ahead to next month’s famous July Carnival at Grafton.

“It’s always a great time – we’ll need to decide whether we race or party,” added Patterson with a chuckle.

“I just want to say old Vince Colnom that helps me walk the dogs every morning is an inspiration to me. He’s 89 years old and is on my doorstep at 5am every morning. He’s a marvel. There’s no one like him.”