Fans left in awe of Sundees Son after third Dominion win
By Jonny Turner
Addington racegoers cheered home a champion as Sundees Son produced one of the greatest trotting performances in harness racing history to win his third straight Renwick Farms Dominion Trot.
The Robert and Jenna Dunn trained superstar had to dig deep into his stamina reserves to win the Show Day feature, willing himself to an incredible victory after fighting out a home straight war with runner-up Muscle Mountain.
The roaring reception Sundees Son and driver John Dunn got when they returned to the birdcage demonstrated the enormity of the trotter’s victory.
Robert Dunn dared to compare the epic battle between Sundees Son and Muscle Mountain with New Zealand’s most recognised test of horse racing’s stamina – Bonecrusher and Our Waverly Star’s 1984 Cox Plate.
Nobody on track argued with the trainer given what they had just witnessed.
“It was like Bone Crusher and Our Waverly Star coming down the straight – our guy is just an out-and-out champion.”
Trained by Dunn and daughter-in-law Jenna, with son John driving and Jenna’s father Craig Edmonds at the horse’s side every day, Sundees Son preparation is a family affair.
John Dunn summed up exactly what the horse meant to the Dunn-Edmonds clan after Sundees Son’s epic win when returning to meet his hordes of adoring fans.”
“He means a lot to them, but he means even more to us.”
The enormity of Sundees Son’s victory was set up by the amount of work the horse was forced to do in the running.
Muscle Mountain and driver Ben Hope gained a key advantage over their main rivals when finding the lead and parking Sundees Son.
Dunn pressed forward to take to eventually find the front before immediately being attacked by Oscar Bonavena.
That early tempo meant the first half of the Dominion was run quicker than the closing half, setting up a battle of attrition over the final 400m.
Sundees Son was clearly headed by Muscle Mountain inside the final 200 metres, but the winner somehow lifted himself to a courageous victory.
“He must have a massive ticker there, he has got the personality to go with it but he has got the motor.”
“He was out on his feet on the furlong, Muscle Mountain ranged right up to me and looked like he was going to go straight past.”
“To dig deep like that, he is a true champion.”
Sundees Son is bred and raced by Colin and Nancy Hair, who now have three Dominion trophies to put on their mantlepiece.
Immediately after yesterday’s win Hair admitted he was still coming to terms with what he had witnessed.
Sundees Son stopped the clock in 3-58.4, slower that his 3-56.6 record breaking Dominion win last year.
A strong wind and much cooler conditions at Addington than in 2021 are likely to have had an effect on the race time, despite the hectic tempo of this year’s race.