Dipendra Trots On

Dipendra Trots On

Bruce Stewart

The aged Winton trotter Dipendra, which won it’s sixth race at Invercargill today, is very much a part of the Stevens family.

Although his trainer Tony Stevens says he’s regarded as a family pet around the stables it’s a different story when it comes to track work.

“He’s a proper old sod. He could be jogging round quite nicely, then all of a sudden he’ll just explode and you’ll be swinging out the back of the cart. All the Winton trainers know him now and they just get out of his way,” he said.

However around home Stevens says he’s a lamb. “He wouldn’t bite you, and the kids love him.”

Stevens has had the Monarchy gelding since he was a young horse. He was sent south after his brother who was working for Kevin Townley, suggested Tony may like to try the horse.

“They had this two year old up there and they asked me if I wanted to have a go with it. I said send the bugger down. They said I’d need to have company for him because he was a wee bit wayward. Oh boy, they didn’t know what wayward was.”

Dipendra qualified on his home track in November 2013 as a three year old but didn’t go to the races until 2015.

“We used to jog him up the gravel road at the race course and round to the red shed before bringing him back. Then I’d take him onto the track and give him three or four rounds and that went on for two years. Anyone else wouldn’t have put up with it.”

Up until this season the horse has also had tying up issues which Stevens says he’s finally got on top of.

“This is the first year I’ve been able to put decent work into him, whereas before he’d do a half an hours jogging and he’d tie up. We went back to some of the old receipes and they worked. I kicked out all the vets and chiropractors.”

Tony who is 73, has been around horses all his life, obtaining a drivers licence at the age of sixteen and a trainer’s license at twenty one.  He’s had some nice horses in his stable over the years including Beaudiene Fella and Wintonian.

At present he has one other hourse besides Dipendra – a two year old Majestic Son filly.

“I’ve just broken her in and I quite like her. I didn’t want another horse because when Dipendra retires I retire. But the kids said no. They bought the filly as a yearling and said ‘there you are that’ll keep you going.’

“I’d like to get him (Dipendra) back next season. I’ll use him to jog up the two year old. If he’s feeling good I’ll take him to the races.”

Today’s win was a family affair, with son Richard doing the driving.

“He was out of the game and rather than us running round looking for a driver each week, I said ‘why don’t you get your licence back because you only have to turn up on race day.”

In today’s 1700 metre mobile Richard took Dipendra straight to the lead. He dictated all the terms, holding on to beat Full Noise by half a length.

Dipendra stretches out for Richard Stevens

The Stevens Clan