Dunn team primed for Northern Southland

Jonny Turner, Harness News Desk

Canterbury trainer Robert Dunn has his Interdominion stars primed to run big races at today’s Northern Southland Cup meeting at Ascot Park.

Dunn has the two favourites in today’s Group 3 feature with Classie Brigade starting alongside Henry Hubert, who will attempt to defend his 2019 Northern Southland Cup title.

Pres The Belle will have to overcome the back mark of 30m in the Group 3 Southern Lights trot.

Henry Hubert brings a sketchy formline in to his Northern Southland Cup defence.

Dunn’s advice is to ignore his pacer’s recent form at Alexandra Park, where he did not handle racing right-handed.

“You could basically put a line through his last four starts at Alexandra Park,” the trainer said. 

“We gave him another go right handed and he just didn’t handle it.”

“He just doesn’t have the balance to be a right handed horse, he might never have.”

“Before then he was going really well.”

“He went super in the New Zealand Cup and the Free-For-All and that was after having an interrupted prep.”

“We didn’t think we would even get him to cup week.”

Henry Hubert will start for the first time since his Auckland campaign in today’s 2700m handicap.

“He had a spell when he came back from Auckland and we have been really pleased with him,” Dunn said.

“He trialled up nicely and he is ready to defend his title.”

Henry Hubert will start alongside fellow leading chances Vintage Cheddar and Nandolo on the 15m mark.

Classie Brigade was nosed out by Henry Hubert in their Rangiora trial, last week.

The New Zealand Cup third placegetter was in a similar position to Henry Hubert in Auckland, where he was unable to show his best.

But, that was down to the pacer being away from their Woodend Beach stable, where he thrives.

“He is a beach trained horse and he is very happy being back on the beach after being in Auckland,” Dunn said.

“He has thrived since he got back.”

“He never had any luck with draws in Auckland, but I thought he went a huge race in the Interdominion consolation.”

“He trialled up well, so he should go a great race.”

Classie Brigade will give Invercargill Cup winner Dadndave, who looks the best of the front markers in today’s feature, a 25m head start.

Dunn hopes Pres The Belle can overcome her 30m back mark in today’s 2700m trotting feature.

The mare has been in brilliant form over sprint distances since returning south following the Auckland Interdominions.

“She is thriving,” Dunn said.

“She is a high speed horse, so the shorter races and the mobiles have suited her lately.”

“But, she can stay as well, she should go another good race.”

Two of Pres The Belle’s main dangers, Heavyweight Hero and Dark Horse start 10m in front of her on the 20m mark.

War Admiral and The Dominator are ahead of them on the 10m mark.

One Apollo looks the best of the front markers. 


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