Son shines brightly in Dominion
By Jonny Turner
Sundees Son shone brightly at Addington on Friday, leaving his rivals chasing his shadow when he won the fastest ever running of the Dominion with perfect poise.
The Robert Dunn trained trotter produced one of the most polished performances of his career to show New Zealand Cup week fans exactly how good he is when bolting away with the 3200m feature by nearly four lengths.
The scare Sundees Son put into his legion of backers and that camp that prepares when galloping in his last start at Kaikoura him looked a distant memory when the six-year-old trotted off the mark to take up a handy early position.
From there, driver John Dunn’s intentions looked clear – to keep his horse relaxed and out of trouble – and the reinsman was rewarded with New Zealand Trotting’s ultimate trophy.
“After Kaikoura Johnny and I had a talk and we decided we had to take bad luck out of the equation,” Robert Dun said.
“Pres The Belle was keen and had to come off the fence, but it wasn’t long until Johnny decided to get around to sit parked.”
“He is just such a beautifully relaxed horse outside the leader, he goes to sleep.”
Sundees Son’s Dominion win was made possible by a family effort led by the Dunn’s father and son combination.
John Dunn’s father-in-law Craig Edmonds also played a huge role in the horse’s record-breaking victory with his dedication.
“Craig does all the shoeing with him and he takes him down to the beach all the time,” Dunn said.
“We can show up at 5.30 in the morning and Craig is already gone with him, taking him down for a paddle in the water on his jog days.”
“He loves the horse and Johnny obviously has a wonderful combination with him, too.”
Sundees Son will now head to Auckland where he is set to take part in one of the biggest clashes in open class trotting in recent history.
Trotting purists are set to be treated to a clash of two trotters with raw ability like few others in the past decade when Sundees Son will almost certainly take on speed machine Bolt For Brilliance in the Lyell Creek Stakes and National Trot at Alexandra Park.
“He will go to Auckland next, he handles the Auckland way of going as good as he does going the Addington way,” Dunn said.
Sundees Son’s Dominion victory topped an outstanding past 12 months for Robert Dunn and his team.
The trainer notched both his 1500th career win in New Zealand and his first national premiership in the past year.
During that time, Sundees Son has provided a few headaches for the Dunn camp and his breeder-owners, Colin and Nancy Hair.
The squaregaiter went 12 months without trotting throughout an entire race and his tilt at last year’s Dominion had to be abandoned.
“He tells us when he is not right and though he made a break at Kaikoura, it was because he had to take a slight bit of evasive action,” Dunn said.
“And it doesn’t take much with him.”
“The key to him is his soundness and when he is sound he is such a pleasure to have around the place.”
Clearly, nothing was bothering Sundees Son on Friday as he trotted to victory in 4-00.5, taking 0.2sec off Monbet’s national 3200m record, set in his 2016 Dominion win.
Sundees Son’s performance meant runner-up Majestic Man had to settle for yet another big race placing.
Despite that trainer Phil Williamson was proud of his six-year-old
“He gave it all he could, the winner is just a great, great horse.”
“I am proud of him.”
“He would have to be the best one I have had that hasn’t won a group 1.”
Aussie raider Tough Monarch turned around two disappointing efforts in New Zealand when running into third, half a length behind Majestic Man.