Dunn's remarkable winning run at Richmond Park

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

To use a common cricket analogy, John Dunn extended his remarkable strike rate at Nelson with another "five-for" at Richmond Park yesterday.

It was the fourth time he's had five or more winners in one day at the venue, and the eighth time overall.

"I love the track and there's always great weather," Dunn says, "it was a great day and a big team effort."

Making it all the more special was the fact the Diamond Racing partnership of Robert and Jenna Dunn trained four of the five winners.

"We had 15 horses in all, it's a big operation."

Dunn opened his account with debutante Queen Of Swords in the www.offnracing.co.nz/More FM Mobile Pace and followed it up with the Trent Yesberg-trained Gatecrasher in race 5, the Hardy's Bar Mobile Pace. He then went race to race with Grand Eagle in the Taylors Contracting Trot, before winning both of the day's features.

The dual Group 1 winning Sunnys Sister took out the Mike Austin Memorial Handicap Trot and Dalton Shard upset favourite Alta Meteor in taking out the Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Classic.

Drawn one over the mile Dunn got the perfect trip in the trail behind stablemate Mighty Looee before getting the passing lane run to win by a neck.

"Dalton Shard's win was great, he was due that and made the most of his draw."

"Like most tracks these days being on speed is a huge help."

In contrast backmarker Sunnys Sister had it all in front of her. Starting off 20m she raced midfield before peeling out on the home turn.

She then produced when she had to to wear down the pacesetting Ruakaka and win comfortably in the end by three quarters of a length.

"It was a good effort, the way she picked them up and to do it in a track record as well."

She completed the 2400m stand in 3:02.2, eclipsing the old mark set by Madeleine Stowe (3:02.8).

It was her second win at Nelson after a dominant four length victory on Friday.

The four-year-old has now won seven from 20 including the two Group 1s last December (NZ Trotting Derby and the Trotting Oaks).

"We will take our time with her and we will then work out if we tackle the big races with her."

Robert and Jenna Dunn now have 11 wins in 2024 to be tied at the top of the trainers' premiership with Steve and Amanda Telfer while John Dunn is the country's leading driver with 12 wins, four ahead of Blair Orange.

Included in his record of five winners on eight separate occasions Dunn has driven six winners in a day twice, including Nelson (of course) in January 2023.

Today Dunn was driving back to his Woodend Beach base and there'll be no let up. He's got nine drives at Ashburton tomorrow.

"It never stops," laughs Dunn, "I love it."


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