Dunn across each Alexandra Park feature
By Jonny Turner
No trainer will start more horses in more feature events at the premier night of harness racing at Alexandra Park on Friday than Robert Dunn.
One of the biggest winning chances among Dunn’s bumper team comes in the Listed Northern Mares Classic with Need You Now.
The trainer has been rapt with the four-year-old since her desperately unlucky third after receiving a chequered run up the straight behind race rival Plutonium Lady in last week’s Charles Roberts Stakes.
“She has trained on really well, she is bright as a button,” Dunn said.
“She had had three or four really hard runs behind Amazing Dream and Johnny [Dunn] was trying to look after her a little bit last week and things just went pear-shaped.”
“It looked like she still could have won but it was just one of those things.”
Dunn also starts both Woodstone and One Majic Kenny in the Group 3 Greenlane Cup.
Woodstone looks a strong place chance following his fresh-up third to Bolt For Brilliance, who again looks hard to beat.
“I was rapt with his run last week, he hadn’t had a trial or a workout or anything since Cup Week,” Dunn said.
“He loves Auckland and always settles in really well up here and he looks a treat.”
“Bolt For Brilliance will be hard to beat but he should be a good eachway chance.”
One Majic Kenny got things wrong behind Bolt For Brilliance last week, but Dunn is hopeful the trotter can turn that around on Friday night.
“He has been really unlucky, he missed away badly last time, but I can’t fault the way he is trotting.”
“If he trots he can take advantage of being off the front line and he will go a good race.”
Dunn starts Dance Til Dawn in the Group 2 Delightful Lady Classic for two-year-old fillies.
The filly has trained on well since her debut second behind the favourite Artisan and the trainer is expecting another good performance.
“She is a very handy type and she has trained on well.”
“I have been happy with her.”
“She has a lot of upside to her, right from the time Ross Houghton broke her in she has been a lovely filly.”
“If she can get a nice run she will be right in it.”
Dunn will also start Matt Damon in the Group 2 City Of Auckland Free-For-All.
He expects another honest performance from the pacer, but he is wary of what impact Copy That will have on the race.
“Matt Damon needs the speed on, he is a lovely horse and he has only had a handful of starts really,” Dunn said.
“He is still learning his trade as far as open class goes.”
“But he needs them to go hard and with Copy That in there it’s unlikely anything else will take him on too much.”
“That won’t help us but he should still go another honest race.”
The Dunn stable also has I’m Your Huckleberry in the Group One Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes.
The trainer is expecting more from the two-year-old after he disappointed in his debut behind Montana D J in a heat of the series.
“I was disappointed with his first run, but that race has really brought him on.”
“I am expecting him to go much better.”
Dunn also starts yet another horse in a feature event with Off N Gone in the Group One Northern Oaks
The filly stuck on gamely after working hard in her last start behind race favourite Bettor Twist in the Peter Breckon Memorial Caduceus Club Stakes.
Having had that right-handed run should be a big help in Friday night’s feature.
“She ran in on the bends, last week, so we have worked on her steering this week,” Dunn said.
“She probably did enough work when she was getting around them, they ran quite a fast quarter when she moved.”
“So it wasn’t a bad run and I am expecting her to be better this week.”
Dunn also starts Mighty Looee on Friday night’s undercard, in race 2.