John Dunn brings up 1500th win in style at Omakau

by Jonny Turner

A tenacious Henry Hubert delivered John Dunn his 1500th driving win in New Zealand when he willed himself to victory in the Group 3 Central Otago Cup at Omakau yesterday.

Challenged and clearly headed in the home straight, the pacer reminded punters of his status as an established open class star when lifting late to score.

After a frustrating spring which included being ruled out of the New Zealand Cup, due reward came to Henry Hubert who showed he is feeling right back to his best with his Central Otago Cup victory.

“His whole life he has done a great job, he hasn’t been too far away in a lot of those big races.” Dunn said.

“He had a wee hiccup into the spring and had to miss the New Zealand Cup, but races like these are still great to win.”

Hundreds of Dunn’s 1500 winners have come in the Robert and Jenna Dunn colours – with the reinsman the spearhead of the stable.

Dunn said notching his milestone horse for Henry Hubert’s owners – long-time supporters Ross and Angela Gordon – made the moment even more satisfying.

“Angela and Ross Gordon have been a huge part of the stable and I have driven a fair few winners for them.”

Dunn looks to be on a one-way path to joining New Zealand’s 2000-win club, which his brother Dexter is a part of.

Taking a break from his driving commitments in North America, Dexter was on hand at Omakau to celebrate his brother’s 1500th win.

Though clearly an exceptional driver with hundreds of winners in front of him, Dunn was quick to credit those who have supported him in his harness racing journey.

“Without the support you can’t get far and I am very lucky, I have had a lot of that.”

“Hopefully there are a few more (wins) down the track.”

Henry Hubert held out Macandrew Aviator and Krug, who were close up in a thrilling finish.

Hurricane Hill continued his brilliant recent form when breaking the 2000m all-comers track record when winning yesterday’s feature trot.

Driver Matthew Williamson had the trotter trailing the leader Time Up The Hill throughout before they burst along the passing lane to score.

The victory continued the horse’s epic rise towards open class since joining the Phil Williamson stable.

One of the performances of the Omakau undercard came from Captain Tom who sped to a front-running victory in race 4.

Trainer Alister Black is now eyeing an Auckland campaign with the promising pacer.


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