Dunns dominate on huge night at Addington

By Mike Love

It was the John Dunn and Diamond Racing show at Addington last night.

Dunn had five winning drives on the night to take him to just one behind drivers' premiership leader Blair Orange, and that included a Group 1 double for the family training partnership of Robert and Jenna Dunn.

“Very happy! It was a great night,” said John Dunn.

Firstly Ya Rite Darl took out the Group 3 SENZ-NZ New Zealand 2YO Trotting Stakes in fine fashion over the 1980m mobile.

“She trotted the whole way which was great and managed to hold them all off. Manners were to the fore.”

Ya Rite Darl was steady away before being balanced by Dunn. Working to the lead from the 1000m, Dunn and Ya Right Darl were able to hold off challengers to win by one and a quarter lengths from Carla Pixie.

“Once I got the lead trouble free it was a good feeling.”

“We will turn her out now and get her ready for September onwards when the season picks up again.”

The highlight of the night however was Got The Chocolates’ win in the Group 1 Avon City Ford New Zealand Welcome Stakes over 1980m mobile.

“It’s great to get the first Group 1 for the owners Angela and Ross Gordon. They’ve been loyal owners with us for years and have had some really good horses but never got a Group 1, which shows just how hard it is to win them.”

Got The Chocolates showed good early speed, but was crossed by the Nathan Williamson runner Always Dreaming. Dunn elected to come out and around at the mile to arrest the lead. Some sharp moves by stablemate Malakai and the Mark and Nathan Purdon trained Rubira at the 600m saw Dunn keep his cool and let them go by. From there, Dunn eased wider on the corner to sweep by and win comfortably by three lengths from stablemate Malakai.

Got The Chocolates' immediate future is either the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton on June 2 or the spelling paddock.

“We’re 50/50 on that. Either way he will be tipped out eventually and get ready for the Sires Stakes (on Cup Day) in November.”

Runner up Malakai was also very pleasing with a strong second.

“It was a great run. More time for him will be his friend. After putting in a big run down the back he stuck to his guns really well and hit the line strong.”

Miki’s Courage made it a treble for the training partnership, and gave Dunn his fifth win for the night in the Gold Band Taxis Pace.

“It was the best draw he’s had for ages. We were able to use his gate speed, and trail the right one (Teds Legacy).”

His other wins were with the Gavin Burgess-trained Wild Irish Rose in the Breckon Farms Lot 108 NZ Weanling Sales Pace and the Aaron Bain-trained Ideal Double in the Woodlands Stud Second Autumn Mares Sprint Mobile Pace.

Another highlight on the night was Ebury Street's gallant win in the inaugural Tyre General Canterbury Plains Series Final. Carter Dalgety went back from his wide draw, then made a mid race move and outstayed his rivals in impressive fashion. Trained by Tom Bamford, it was Ebury Street's fourth win in 31 starts.

The Dunns lead the premiership table with 78 winners so far this season and over $1.2 million in stakes. John Dunn sits second on the drivers' premiership with 72 winners, only one win off leader Blair Orange.

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