Last runner for James Dunn before OE

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

James Dunn is hoping for a race day fairytale at Addington tonight.

It's his last official race as a trainer in partnership with his father Geoff, with a horse that's named after his wife Millie.

"It would be fitting wouldn't it?" Dunn says

Millie Lou will be driven by cousin John Dunn in the Designed by Harrison Bloy Mobile pace (6.3pm). The Sweet Lou three-year-old filly has been unplaced in three race day starts so far.

"She's good enough to win a race but she's been sick and not 100 per cent so I'm not super confident about her chances."

Millie Lou warmed up for tonight's assignment with a second at last week's Rangiora trials and is currently at $10 and $2.70 on the fixed odds. The favourite is the Bob Butt-trained and driven Sweet Star Of Mine ($2.10). 

Win or lose it marks the end for the Geoff-James Dunn partnership as he and Millie are heading overseas at the end of the month.

"The time is right for us to have a bit of a working holiday," the 28-year-old says.

First stop is Canberra where Millie, a nurse, has secured a job.

After that they are contemplating a summer in either Victoria or Tasmania and then venturing further afield to Asia, Europe or North America.

"It's all a bit up in the air at the moment but we've rented our house out for a year so we'll be away at least that long."

Since officially linking up the Dunns have had 47 wins, starting with Lottie Moon at Kurow in August 2020.

"We've had some good times helped by Laver and The Falcon," says Dunn, "The Falcon's win in the Country Championship was the highlight."

That was April 2022 when The Falcon, driven by Gerard O'Reilly, beat a capacity field at Addington that included the likes of second-placed Allamericanlover, Got You Covered, American Me and Macandrew Aviator.

Right now the Dunns have 21 horses on the books, with up to 14 in work at any one time.

"There are 12 two-year-olds and under and 90 per cent of them are well-bred so the future should be good for winners."

And no doubt he'll be checking on progress from afar, wherever he ends up.




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