Spellbound magic started with beach chat

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The sight of Spellbound’s masses of owners reveling in her success can be linked back to a casual conversation after track-work at Woodend Beach.

The Robert Dunn-trained filly caused the Addington birdcage to fill to capacity for the second time in consecutive weeks when she won the Group 3 $30,000 Leonard Memorial Stakes at Addington on Sunday.

The victory sent her owners, the Westview Racing No.19 Syndicate and The Witches Of Westview No.2 Syndicate, flocking to get their picture taken with their unbeaten pacer.

Those owners can credit trainer Robert Dunn and Westview Racing’s Nigel Armstrong for getting them a share in the talented filly.

Armstrong syndicated the filly after she was knocked down to Dunn at last year’s national yearling sale in Christchurch for $17,000.

Dunn said the starting point for him purchasing the Art Major pacer from breeders Stephen Bell and Donna Williamson was a casual conversation with fellow Woodend Beach trainer, Regan Todd.

“Regan had Bettor Be Gold, her half-sister, and I said to him what was that filly? I really liked the way she trained.

“I was walking around at the sales and Donna called me over and she said ‘come and have a look at this filly’.

“She was a lovely filly and when I looked at her page and saw she was a half to Bettor Be Gold, I started to show a bit more interest in her and really liked her.”

Spellbound’s massive ownership group, which tallies nearly 150 people, could be packing the stands at Ascot Park on Northern Southland Cup Day this Saturday.

“She might be going down south this week, we just have to take a blood [test] off her to make sure she is all good.”

“And if she is, she will go down for the Caduceus Club Classic and that will be a nice trip for her.”

Spellbound’s front-running win was one of four victories for the father and son training and driving combination of Robert and John Dunn at Addington on Sunday.

They also scored wins with Sundees Sun, Franco Niven and Onedin Reign.

Franco Niven got his manners together for the first time in his five-start career.

After finding the front with a lap to go, the pacer gave his rivals little chance of catching him when he paced his last 800m in 56.4sec.

“He has got a huge motor and massive speed.”

Sundees Sun continued to build his confidence with his second consecutive lower-grade trot win after breaking in his three prior starts in stronger company.

“We have just taken the easier races and let him get a bit of confidence and break the habit of him breaking under pressure or when he got to tight situations.”

“It is great confidence-building for him.”

Onedin Reign sprinted well off a strong race speed to record her fourth career victory at her 16th start.

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