3YO Ruby a family affair
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
It was a proud moment for the Edmonds-Dunn households after Five Wise Men’s win in the Group One Mitre 10 3YO Ruby (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday.
The father and daughter training partnership of Craig and Aimee Edmonds were beaming in the winner’s enclosure as son and brother-in-law John Dunn returned victorious behind the talented gelding.
“It is a great family affair and we will take a lot of pleasure out of this one,” driver John Dunn said.
While ecstatic about the result, Five Wise Men didn’t get it all his own way at Cambridge, with the son of Muscle Hill posted four-wide heading around the first bend.
He quickly gained cover behind Time Up The Hill and continued to improve three-wide behind the filly at the urgings of Dunn before finding the parked position down the back straight.
He got the better of pacemaker Mufasa Metro turning for home and was able to hold on for a brave three-quarter of a length victory over the Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett-trained gelding, with a further three-quarters of a length back to the fast-finishing Son Of Patrick in third.
Dunn was confident his charge could put in another dominant performance and wasn’t overawed by his wide gate.
“He has done it tough, and he has got the speed to go, he is just an all-rounder, and I am pleased to be a part of it,” he said.
“Toddy (Todd Mitchell, driver of Mufasa Metro) was actually going to hand up the front going down the back, but he (Five Wise Men) sort of goes to sleep parked and he gets his mind on the job better.
“He doesn’t over-race once he gets there and that is a big asset for him. He was nice to the line.”
Sunday’s win caps an outstanding three-year-old term for Five Wise Men, having won nine of his 11 starts, including the Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Derby (2600m), Gr.1 Northern Trotting Derby (2700m), Gr.2 Sires’ Stakes Trotters Championship (2200m), Gr.3 Hambletonian Classic (1609m), and now the Gr.1 Mitre 10 3YO Ruby (1609m).
Co-trainer Craig Edmonds was rapt with Sunday’s win and rated it as one of his highlights of the season.
“The Derbys are really good, but it’s the end of the season and good for him to finish off with a win,” he said.
“He has been working well and had been training well, so it was just up to him today. If he had no bad luck, we knew he would be there.”
Five Wise Men’s tenacity and will to win comes as no surprise to Edmonds, who has trained members of his family for the last couple of decades.
“His whole family was like that (able to do a lot of work). His mother (Harriet Hughes) was good, but he is probably the best one at the moment,” he said.
Edmonds said his gelding is also very versatile, which will hold him in good stead when he comes up against older trotters from next season.
“He is good at sitting and sprinting as well, which will be good for him when he has to meet the bigger ones in years to come.”