Big payday for Dexter Dunn

By Michael Guerin

Kiwi reinsman Dexter Dunn will embark on a A$50,000 victory lap of Menangle tomorrow as New Zealand’s newest world champion.

Dunn has the world driving champs sewn up with tomorrow’s final race still to come, leading the 20-race series by 43 points, with only 17 available to the winner of the last leg.

That guarantees Dunn a US$25,000 payday and the honour of joining Kevin Holmes, Robert Cameron, Maurice McKendry, Tony Herlihy and Mark Jones as New Zealand winners of the title.

Even more remarkably, Dunn was languishing second last of the 10 competitors from around the world after the first two nights of heats but exploded during the seven heats at Wagga Wagga on

Tuesday, with three wins and three seconds.

He continued a master class of reinsmanship against the likes of Australia’s Chris Alford and leading US driver Tim Tetrick to have the series as good as won even before two more placings at Penrith on Thursday night.

“It is only just sinking in because this is the sort of thing you don’t expect to happen so early in your career,” Dunn said last night.

“I’m over the moon and just to be driving against these guys and getting to know them has been a special experience.”

While the driver’s champs, where horses are drawm by ballot, are hardly an exact guide of the talents of the horsepeople involved, Dunn was able to win a heat on a 25-1 chance, reaffirming what Kiwi punters know --- that he has the almost impossible to define talent of being able to get horses to run for him.

After his slow start in this series, to win it so easily borders on freakish.

Dunn, who also has a 60-win lead in the New Zealand premiership, also partners Art Union (NSW Derby) and Delightful Lana (NSW Oaks) tomorrow.