Dunns have strong chances on New Year's Eve
By Michael Guerin
A 20m penalty seems a lot for just one win but driver John Dunn says it doesn’t end the chances of Aardiebythehill in the $50,000 Majestic Horse Floats Greenlane Cup at Alexandra Park tomorrow.
The up-and-coming trotter thrashed many of those he meets in tomorrow’s feature trot in the corresponding race two weeks ago but goes back to the 20m mark while those who finished in the placings stay on the front line over the 2700m.
That gives them the option to step and run and make life hard for the favourite but Dunn says just because he drove Aardiebythehill aggressively to lead last start doesn’t mean he has to do that again.
“I think sitting in with one run on a good speed could really suit him,” says Dunn.
“It is a tough handicap with all those other horses staying on the front line but it is only a small field so I still think he can win.”
The race may come down to times because if the front line horses set up a 3:27-type time for the 2700m then Aardiebythehill might have to come wide and trot around 3:25 in real terms, which for all his ability will test the talented trotter.
Still, he did finish fourth in stablemate Sundees Son’s stunning third Dominion win last month and it is doubtful any of his rivals tomorrow could get within lengths of that performance.
As good a chance as Aardiebythehill has Dunn knows his best hope at tomorrow’s twilight meeting is Charlie Brown back to juvenile racing in race 4.
He was luckless and should have won against battle hardened intermediate grade pacers last start and will only have to produce that performance to be the multi anchor the day.
Dunn expects a newcomer to the north in Fighting Fire (R6, No.12) to need the run even though he is a better horse right-handed while he says the start will be crucial for Bach (R7, No.4) who is at his most potent when on the speed and running hard.