Dunn has confidence with his two fillies
By Michael Guerin
Trainer Robert Dunn doesn’t have to search far to find confidence his fillies can beat red hot favourite Amazing Dream in tonight’s $150,000 Alabar Sires’ Stakes at Alexandra Park.
Because they did it two starts ago under almost identical circumstances to tonight’s Group One.
While the market suggested Amazing Dream is all but a good thing in the 2200m event it almost seems to have amnesia about how the race panned out two starts ago.
Back then on December 6 the Dunn-trained pair of Spellbound and Need You Now led and trailed respectively and held off Amazing Dream after she had to sit parked the last lap.
The trio met again a week later and on that occasion, after Need You Now was forced to work too hard early and Spellbound settled back, with Amazing Dream too strong for them before holding out the late run of Stylish Memphis.
While there is no doubting Amazing Dream is the best of this filly crop tonight’s Group One shapes far more like the race two starts ago when she was beaten. She might have been a bit soft that night and clearly improved off it but she is anything but a certainty tonight.
“She is very good Amazing Dream, we all know that,” said Dunn.
“But we think we have two fillies who can beat her again.
“It looks like our two will lead trail again and I suppose under those circumstances Need You Now would be our best winning chance.”
Need You Now should cross to the lead from barrier two and then hand up to Spellbound (three) while Amazing Dream will probably need to pull back from one on the second line to get off the markers and then make her mid-race move.
That means she could be giving the Dunn fillies a 10 length start.
Spellbound may actually be the more athletic of the two Dunn-trained fillies but if she leads there is nothing surer than Amazing Dream will come looking before the 800m and probably put the pressure on.
So that could aid Need You Now and if the sectionals get really serious then a swooper like Stylish Memphis comes into play as she stormed home last start.
In all reality Amazing Dream might be good enough to come sit parked and crush her rivals and if you were getting $2 you would take it all day. But at the $1.70 on offer with so much going against her.
Dunn and his son John, who have been one of the most defiant training-driving combinations against the wave of All Stars success, also have hopes in the other three black type races today.
They will need more than luck with Down To The Bone and Mighty Looee in the $200,000 Sales Series Pace but Valloria was so good when fourth in the Inter Dominion Trotting Final he could have a role to play in the $100,000 National Trot.
“He has really improved since coming north,” says Dunn.
“He has toughened up to open class racing quicker than I thought and while he might not win he can get some good money.”
Classie Brigade returns to standing start racing in the $250,000 Auckland Cup after a luckless Inter Dominions and if he can begin quickly and get on the markers he can place, as he did in the New Zealand Cup last month.
“Back to the stand really suits him and he has come through the Inters great. He still has one of the fastest 3200m times in the race.”