Dunn runners add spice at Addington tonight
By Michael Guerin
Team Dunn will line up two horses who played central roles in the most dramatic harness races of the last 12 months at Addington tonight but have different expectations.
Mataderos (R6, No.4) and Magic Four (R7, No.3) represent the premiership-winning stable and both come out of races that shocked the harness racing industry last summer.
Mataderos was a close runner-up when his stablemate Sundees Son obliterated the national 3200m record in the Dominion last November, trotting times many thought would never be recorded here.
Magic Four pulled off one of the greatest upsets in New Zealand pacing history when he came from nowhere to beat Akuta and Franco Indie at 100-1 in the Harness Millions at Alexandra Park in February, back when he wasn’t even trained by the Dunns.
Both return tonight but while new stable recruit Magic Four has a perfect draw in a mobile 1980m, Mataderos faces a 40m handicap in his trot, albeit it in a small field.
“He can still win but it is never easy off a handicap first up and he will probably be driven cold,” says John Dunn.
“That might make him vulnerable to what the others do.”
As small as the field is Enghien has a recent race under his belt so could get tactical advantage over Mataderos.
Magic Four hasn’t shown anything like his career-highlight shock before or since but clearly has a touch of class and Dunn says after an impressive trial last week he is ready to use his draw and win.
The stable also has smart mares Soundsofcash and First Rose in race 8 and Dunn opts for Soundsofcash as the better hope as he believes First Rose will need her outing.
“But it is a tricky field, small fields often lack pace and that makes it hard.”
The stable also has four maidens in race five and Dunn says his drive Whos Delight is the best chance of the quartet.