Pres The Belle on song for Addington
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Group Three winner Pres The Belle will be looking to get her career back on track at Addington Raceway on Friday.
The 13-win mare has had four starts for her new trainers, Geoff and James Dunn, and they believe she is capable of recording her first victory in their colours in the Haras des Trotteurs Heather Williams Memorial Mobile Trot (1980m).
She has failed to flatter since joining the West Melton barn, but showed a glimpse of her former self when winning by five lengths in her 2600m trial last week.
“We have changed her front shoes and she has trotted really well at the trials, so hopefully she can do it at Addington,” James Dunn said.
“She doesn’t like Addington as much as other tracks, but she has been going good enough.
“This is probably the most winnable race she has come up against since we have had her. If she brings her manners and doesn’t pull too hard, she should be a good chance.”
Pres The Belle will come up against the likes of Group Three winner Splash Cola and in-form mare Gold Chains, but Dunn believes his mare is capable of holding her own on Friday.
“Splash Cola is pretty good when they bring their A-game over the short trip, but Gold Chain is flying,” he said.
“Pres The Belle is the class horse of the field. At her best she would be very hard to beat, but she is not there anymore, so we have got to get her 90-95 percent and she should be in the top three.”
Dunn will also line-up Laver in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Mobile Pace (1980m) after he disappointed when fading late at Addington in his last start in March.
He has subsequently freshened and has pleased in his resuming trials where he has placed and won in the lead up to Friday.
“He was well short for that last start and after that we found out he was a little bit crook, so we have treated him and gave him some time, took him back to the trials and started again,” Dunn said.
“He is still quite heavy. He got away on us a little bit. That is a good sign, it usually means he is pretty well.
“We are using this as a fitness run looking towards the Jewels.”
The Dunns final runner of the night will be Derby placegetter The Falcon, who put in a subpar performance at Rangiora last month.
“He was disappointing last start,” Dunn said. “We probably asked him to come out of the gate a little bit (hard) and maybe backing up from the Derby he just found it a bit tough.
“We have given him a bit of a freshen-up. We were going to go to the trials, but with the premier meeting next week we thought that we might as well go to a race instead of straight into a premier meeting after a month off racing.”
Dunn is enjoying his first season training in partnership with his father, with 11 wins to their name so far.
“It is going well,” he said. “We haven’t had a winner for a while, but we are pretty happy with how the season has gone so far. Laver has helped a lot and has won five. I am enjoying it.”