Dunns hold strong hand at Addington
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Racing at Addington Raceway on Friday night will be a welcome distraction for Robert Dunn who will be watching from his home in Auckland under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
With Auckland still under level 4 restrictions, Dunn’s northern barn has been heavily depleted, with the dual-Island trainer electing to send most of his Pukekohe team south to his Woodend Beach stable, with racing commencing in Canterbury this week under alert level 3 restrictions.
“I sent most of my horses back to Christchurch,” said Dunn, who trains in partnership with his daughter-in-law Jenna Dunn.
“I have only kept one in Auckland. It’s just one of those things that is unfortunate but hopefully in two weeks time we can get back to what we call normal these days.”
Racing is set to resume in Canterbury on Friday with a 12-card meeting at Addington Raceway.
Dunn will have plenty of firepower on display at the meeting headed by star trotter Sundees Son making his first outing of the season in the Basil Dean Trotting Free-For-All Mobile Trot (1980m).
The multiple Group One winner heads into Friday without a trial, but with a strong first-up record Dunn is expecting a bold showing from the talented square-gaiter.
“He has got a great first-up record. He hasn’t had a trial so he will need the run, but I think everyone will be in the same boat,” Dunn said.
“Johnny (Dunn, driver and stable foreman) and I decided to start him to help the club and get the race off the ground.
“He is pretty well and has done a fair bit of work. He was ready to go to the trials but just the way the conditions of the race fell we had to start him really.”
Sundees Son will be joined in the race by stablemate Woodstone.
“He hasn’t won in a wee while but he has been near enough in his races,” Dunn said. “He is not quite back to where he was 18 months ago but we are hoping every race he has he will continue to improve slightly.
“We are pleased with his work at home and his condition looks great, so hopefully he will hit winning form again.”
Dunn will also have a strong arsenal in the Gr.3 Allied Security Maurice Holmes Vase (2600m) in the form of Henry Hubert and Classie Brigade.
“Henry Hubert has come along nicely,” Dunn said.
“We have always thought as he got older he would get better, and he is pacing better. He is in a pretty happy place.
“Classie Brigade has got a great first-up record and he is a great standing start horse. He is working well and he will be in the same boat as the others, he will need the hit-out, but he is well.”