News & Events

Dunn stable set to be the big night spoilers

The Mark Purdon stable is returning to the track, en masse, on Friday night at Addington in an important night of racing, but one local trainer may stand in the way of the Purdon strike force and some other highly fancied runners. Robert Dunn himself has a strong team involved at Addington on Friday night and while there won’t be many favourites amongst his seven runners there are some strong chances to spoil the parties of others.

Dunn starts the night off with Kotare Yaakov and Samuel James in race three. Both horses are in form and pose a real threat to the likely favourite Easy On The Eye. These are Dunn’s thoughts.

“Kotare Yaakov was very impressive at Oamaru and he’s trained on really strongly. We’re expecting another big run from him this week. Samuel James – he was too keen last week. He’s a natural front runner but off 20 metres he won’t get there this week and we’re trying to get him to relax more in his races in behind. His work has been good since going to the beach though.”

In the Sires Stakes heat (race four) Dunn lines up the fit and very much in-form Blazin N Cullen. He’s taking on a classy three-year-old field, chock full of reputations but the Christian Cullen colt looks spot on to run a mighty race.

“I think with a good run we’re a good chance. If we can take up a prominent position and get a sit he’ll be a chance. We’ve taken the boring pole off this week. He wasn’t quite balanced in his gait in that sprint home last time.”

In the following race a new addition to the stable promises to be a hit for his 17 new owners, including several first-timers. Montecrengle caught the eye hanging in with Gold Ace and Mach Banner at workouts last Saturday.

“He’s training super. When we got him he had a few issues but his trials have been good. His last run behind Mach Banner and Gold Ace was nice. We’re going to drive him to use his speed. He’s pacing well round the bends, which has been his problem in the past so we’re confident he’ll give a good sight.”

Stable star Mach Banner takes on a sensational field in the Avon City Ford Cup. His overall form is good and Dunn is confident the big Mach Three gelding is still on the up.

“The standing start manners are crucial. I’d love him to begin and get an economical run and be striding home well. His coat hasn’t turned fully yet. There’s still improvement in him yet. We’re hoping to tick along, sneak into the Cup and go from there.”

Crackaheiny has been disadvantaged by the draw in race seven but due to the depth and quality of the race his second-row draw could play out okay.

“I like this horse. He’s got good ability and this draw won’t hurt him. He follows pace well and can carry his sprint for a fair way. He didn’t react well to the pull-down blinds at Winton and he’s not a natural leader either. If he can win this we’d then look at a Sires Stakes heat.”

The last Dunn rep of the night is the up-and-coming trotter Ten Too. Four starts for three wins is a great start to any career but this time he’ll face his sternest test to date in a field that includes the potential top-liner Armbro Demon.

“This is a big step up for him but he’s a hell of a strong horse though with huge stamina. He had a nice, quiet run at the workouts the other day. He trotted away well and Johnny (Dunn) let him run on powerfully in that last bit.”

The weekend runners for the stable don’t stop there either. As well as having Johnny Bravo in at Northern Southland, Dunn has seven horses down to run at Banks Peninsula on Sunday. The best of those he suggested was Kotare Kano in race five. A horse to watch from the team though is Ima Gold Digger. A new recruit to the team, Ima Gold Digger has pleased John Dunn in work at the beach stable and is trotting well but tackles a hot field including I Can Doosit in the D G Jones Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup.