Dexter Dunn in big upset

Dexter Dunn and a 50-to-one outsider have upstaged reigning US horse of the year Shartin N in New Jersey.

The Kiwi star got Major Occasion A into the trail in the Dorothy Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and then scooted up the passing lane to win by a neck. Shartin N, the record-breaking mare bred by Christchurch’s Grant Crabbe, was second.

Major Occasion A, an Australian-bred daughter of Art Major, is trained by ex-pat Kiwi Richard “Nifty” Norman and has now won four races this season, and 19 overall. Major Occasion A’s time for the mile was 1:48.1

“It’s a surprise, but she’s actually been racing really, really good,” Dunn told the United States Trotting Association website, “Her last quarters have been 25 (seconds); she just hasn’t been handling the last turn. They changed her hobbles and she paced a lot better. We got a good trip, obviously, but she has been racing really good. It was a lucky trip, but she’s a nice mare.”

Being heading to the US the horse raced exclusively in Australia apart from the 2019 Harness Jewels at Addington. Starting a second favourite she finished 10th, with hot favourite Elle Mac an easy winner.

Franco Totem N was another winner at The Big M for Dunn and Norman, while Dunn was also successful with gun trotter Manchego.

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