Wingatui horseman Mick (A.N.) Didham, who trained the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) placegetter Golden Sam, died in Dunedin this week, aged 86.
Didham had a lengthy career in racing, winning his first race as a rider in 1945 and having his final success as a trainer in 2002.
He trained and part-owned Golden Sam, who ran fourth in the 1973 Melbourne Cup, behind Gala Supreme, Glengowan and Daneson. Golden Sam won the Navy Day Handicap in Melbourne and Didham prepared Foxy to win the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on the same trip.
Golden Sam recorded his most notable victory when beating Beatnik and Sailing Home in the Inter-Island Handicap at Riccarton and won a Dunedin Gold Cup. He did not win at 3200m but finished second and fourth in the New Zealand Cup, was twice placed in the Chalmers Stakes at Trentham and ran fifth in a Gr.1 Auckland Cup.
Shewetta, who beat Sharif in the 1969 Stewards at Riccarton and won the Great Easter on the same track, was another prolific winner for Didham.
Didham was a member of a notable racing family. His father, Arthur (A.E.) Didham was a renowned horseman and Mick’s brothers - Midge (E.J.), Jim and Leslie (Jumbo) - have all made a mark. Midge was a top class jockey in New Zealand and Australia, with his wins including a Melbourne Cup on Baghdad Note and two Gr.1 Caulfield Cups (2400m), and Jim trained Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Artifice.