Dunn takes trifecta to reach 1500 wins
By Jonny Turner
Inter-island trainer Robert Dunn created history by notching his 1500th win in New Zealand in sensation fashion when Heisenberg headed a stable trifecta just minutes after Classie Brigade won the Kaikoura Cup on Monday.
Classie Brigade reminded punters he has the game and manners to be a New Zealand Cup contender with a fast beginning to set himself up for a front-running win with Dunn’s son, John, in the sulky.
The perfect dress rehearsal for New Zealand’s greatest harness race took Dunn to career win 1449, before the trainer made triply sure he would reach 1500 wins.
When the field turned for home in the Yearling Sales Aged Classic, there was almost no chance that it would not be a Dunn runner hitting the line first.
Eventually, Heisenberg sealed the trainer’s milestone win, holding out his stablemates Stars Tonight and Franco Niven.
Dunn’s 1500-win record includes 19 group 1 victories spread across some of New Zealand’s greatest races.
The trainer said he rates the notching his 1500 wins and the style it came in at Kaikoura as big as any thrill he has had during his career of more than 40 years.
“To go one-two-three is quite amazing,” Dunn said.
“That is right up there with all of my biggest thrills.”
“To have three special owners – Ross and Angela Gordon, Dean and Allen Neumann and their wives Judy and Christine and their family and friends, and Ian Dobson.”
“To have three of my biggest owners going one-to-three is something you only dream about really.”
Dunn’s next focus will firmly be on both the Interdominions and next week’s New Zealand Cup Carnival.
Beyond that, the trainer is looking to throw back to the days of Master Musician – the horse that put him on harness racing’s biggest stages early in his training career.
Dunn’s horses could revisit some of the destinations the winner of almost $2,000,000 took the trainer during his prolific career across Australasia.
“We might have to do a bit of travelling this season, we have got a lot of nice horses coming through.”
“Australia could be beckoning some of our trotters – but we will get through the Interdominions first.”
Dunn’s 1500th win followed a wave of success from his family that has peaked in the past month.
The trainer’s son, Dexter, confirmed his status as one of hottest reinsman in North America with two wins at the star studded Breeders Crown meeting in Canada, recently.
Dexter’s elder brother, John, has been keeping up the family name in lights back home, recently passing 1100 driving wins.
He sealed his father’s milestone win with Heisenberg with the same kind of well rated, front running drive he produced on Classie Brigade.
Father and son could enjoy their biggest thrill in racing together if the 7yr-old can win the New Zealand Cup.
With the same kind of beginning he made in his Kaikoura Cup win, Classie Brigade should put himself in a position to strike.
The Robert and John Dunn combination sealed their brilliant day out at the picturesque Kaikoura Cup meeting by completing a hat-trick of wins in its final three races.
John produced his third consecutive front-running drive to win with Jay Tee Tyron.