A nightmare for Dunn
By Michael Guerin
Dexter Dunn’s American dream is turning into a nightmare.
But the 10-time champion reinsman is still hoping to get to North America this winter for what is now shaping as a shortened working holiday.
Dunn expected to leave New Zealand two weeks ago to drive in North America for up to four months but that goal has been stymied by visa issues.
US immigration are withholding a working visa until, as Dunn understands it, he can provide more proof he is world class at his job.
While the internet would seem to to provide ample proof of that, especially considering Dunn has won the World Driving Champs, the process has slowed to an alarming rate.
“I now have a lawyer up there working on it for me,” says Dunn.
“It is frustrating and obviously I had hoped to be up there driving already but there isn’t much I can do about it.
“I respect the fact it is harder to get working visas up there than it used to be but I am still keen to go.
“But really I would have liked to be there at least two weeks ago, getting some drives and setting up for the summer.
“So I am still hopeful it will happen but if it takes too long I might not go at all. I’m really in limbo at the moment and can’t plan anything, here or there, until I know about the visa.”
Dunn says if his visa come through in the next two or three weeks he could still drive for the entire months of August and September in the States before deciding whether he comes back to New Zealand in early October.
If he does go his return is becoming increasing likely because every day he is not in the States is another step further from picking up the drive on a serious stakes horses for one of the summer features.
And unless Dunn was having a magical run or had a realistic winning hope in a series like the Breeders Crown in late October, he would have little reason to stay in the US and miss the build up to New Zealand Cup week.
“But I am still keen to go, to drive and to learn so hopefully it can all be resolved soon.”
Dunn isn’t letting the paperwork hassles affect his winter form as he has driven superbly over the last week and even closed the gap on runaway premiership leader Blair Orange to below 20.
But he had given up a while ago on retaining the title he has won the last 10 straight years and instead has a different goal should he not be Stateside inside a few weeks.
“I’m only five shy of 200 or the season again so that is my new goal and it would be good to get there again.” Orange is on 214 going into a busy weekend of racing and only needs 16 more wins to pass Dunn’s national mark for either equine code of 229 wins set last season.