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Dunn narrows premiership gap

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The gap is still substantial but Dexter Dunn added a little more spice to the race for the national drivers’ premiership at Addington on Friday night.

The ten-time premiership winner had a golden night out in Christchurch when winning five races to narrow the margin between himself and good mate, Blair Orange down to 20.

With six months remaining for the season, there’s still plenty of time for a few more twists and turns in the race to the prize - but Dunn’s recent form is ominous.

A $5.20 quote with bookmakers before last night’s meeting to run down Orange, Dunn shortened significantly into $3.80 as the night progressed with betting on the market suspended on a number of occasions.

The last half of the season has always been Dunn’s golden egg with the introduction of winter racing boosting his numbers significantly at the tail end of the season - especially at tracks like Forbury Park.

Orange has vowed to push for the premiership this season so the coming months could make for some interesting viewing as the pair make their way around the country in search of success.

Dunn’s five-win haul last night included the Group Two Premier Mares’ Championship with the dour Bonnie Joan.

Fresh from a productive campaign in the North Island, the Cran Dalgety-trained mare staved off the challenge of a brave American Tart inside the final 100 metres of the event.

And now she is set for a shot at Group One redemption in two weeks’ time back at Addington in the New Zealand Breeders Stakes after narrowly missing out on the Queen Of Hearts up in Auckland over Christmas.

“That was the one that got away,” Dalgety said on his website this morning.

“We didn’t quite get around the last bend as well as we would have liked.”

Raced by the Tuapeka Lodge Syndicate, Bonnie Joan is forming a formidable record on the track as the winner of 10 races with nine placings from just 21 starts.

She was one of three winners that Dunn drove for Dalgety on the night with success also coming from Master Moonlite and Bringitonhome.

He teamed up with 12-year-old trotter, Lightworkofit to secure another of his victories with the Don Burrows-trained runner running his rivals into the dirt from behind the mobile.

The son of Sundon and former top trotting mare In Shot has won four races now - two of which have come with Dunn in the bike.

Dunn’s other winner was Bushido for the Tim Butt and Jonny Cox stable.

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