Start crucial to Sundees Son’s Ordeal defence
By Jonny Turner
Drawing barrier 1 has thrown a curveball at Sundees Sun ahead of the classy squaregaiter attempting to defend his Ordeal Trotting Cup crown at Addington on Friday night.
The Robert Dunn trained trotter is clearly feeling fit and ready enough to win the 2600m group 3 feature if his excellent recent trial win at Rangiora is anything to go by.
The 6yr-old powered to an impressive victory from a 40m handicap in a faultless display for driver John Dunn.
That effort came after the Sundees Son galloped in his first run since last year’s New Zealand Cup Carnival in late July.
The task to get things right on Friday night got a little more tricky when the group 1 winner drew the ace barrier.
However there is confidence in that Sundees Son can rise to that challenge and finally show how good he really is.
“He is generally pretty good from a stand, it could be tricky, but lately he has been really good,” Robert Dunn said.
“It can be a tricky draw, it could be good for him or it could go against him big time.”
“I have seen trotters that never go away in their lives step really nicely from one, so it is just one of those things.”
Aside from any queries about that draw, the Dunn camp could not be happier with Sundees Son.
“Johnny is really pleased with him, he thinks he is back to his best,” Dunn said.
“He has trialled good and since he has had the time off he has been trotting like he was when he was going good.”
Sundees Son will have to beat out two of his stablemates to defend his Ordeal Trotting Cup title in Woodstone and Pres The Belle.
Pres The Belle has gone three reasonable races this time in and has upped her fitness levels with each one.
“She is getting better all the time, a couple of her first runs were not as good as usual, but I think she is getting fitter all the time,” Dunn said.
“And as the season goes on I think she will get back to where she was last campaign when she was very, very good.”
Woodstone had to give classy 4yr-old Ultimate Stride a 20m head-start last week when fourth.
The 7yr-old has improved from that run after recently relocating from Dunn’s North Island stable.
“He has only just got down to the beach – he should improve with his last run and he has come through it very well.”
The Dunn trained Classie Brigade was the winner of last month’s Maurice Holmes Vase until Self Assured put up stunning performance to snatch victory short of the post.
The 7yr-old has placed in all three of his clashes with his main rival this seasons after his brilliant standing start manners have put him on the speed.
Classie Brigade starts on front line in barrier 10 in Friday night’s New Brighton Cup which should give him another opportunity to test Self Assured.
“He would have to be the best standing start horse in the country, as far as the open class horses go,” Dunn said.
“10 can be a tricky draw, he will have to go away fast enough to cross them, but we think he can.”
“And if he can do that it would be ideal because he loves being up on the pace.”
Self Assured’s heroics were set up by his blundering start in the Maurice Holmes Vase.
Like Sundees Son, drawing an inside barrier (2) has the potential to make stepping away a tricky task.
Trainer-driver Mark Purdon has reported that his camp have been giving the New Zealand Cup favourite standing start practice since his big last start win.
Self Assured starts alongside his stablemates Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece in Friday night’s pacing feature.
The Dunn stable also start Henry Hubert in the race.