Sundees Son ready for return
By Jonny Turner
Challengers of the undisputed king of New Zealand trotting will need to bring their best game when Sundees Son continues his incredible season at Addington on Friday night.
The Robert Dunn trained six-year-old returns to racing in the Group 3 Lamb & Hayward Trotters Classic after being freshened following his powerful victory in the National Trot at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve.
On the surface Sundees Son may look a little vulnerable, racing first up on the back of just one quiet trial and having to give his main rivals Muscle Mountain (10m) and Bolt For Brilliance (10m) a headstart from his 20m back mark.
But there are no concerns among the Dunn camp that their star trotter is not forward enough to run a huge race.
“I am not saying he is going to need the run, but he will improve with it,” Robert Dunn said.
“He is pretty sharp, that is for sure.”
Sundees Son has done plenty of miles up and down Woodend Beach ahead of his return.
And his work suggests he will be able to return in the same headspace that underpinned his brilliant spring and summer campaign.
“He is well and he has done a lot of work, obviously,” Dunn said.
“Johnny (Dunn) is pretty happy with where he is at and he trotted very nice down the beach this week.”
“He is fresh, but he has got a pretty good fresh record.”
“It is a pretty good field, but Johnny and Craig (Edmonds) can’t fault him.”
“He tells us when he is 100% and he is trotting super at the minute.”
Like at any premier meeting in New Zealand, the Dunn stable has a big team entered on Friday night.
Dashing Major looks one of the hardest of the Diamond Racing runners to beat in race 4 when he starts alongside stablemates Mighty Looee and A Delightful Act.
The three-year-old was just over a length behind leading three-year-olds Pace N Pride and Ragazzo Mach in last week’s Ian Dobson Classic.
“It was a good run last week, it was behind two really smart horses,” Dunn said.
“He has got a lot of speed and down in grade this week he should be hard to beat.”
One Majic Kenny steps out in race 9 for Dunn after disappointing in his recent starts at Alexandra Park when missing away.
The trainer is hopeful the talented trotter can show his true worth on Friday night.
“He lost his confidence going away, recently.”
“He had one bad trial when things went wrong and that has stuck in his mind.”
“I bought him down (from Auckland) last Friday and I have been really impressed with how he has been enjoying working on the beach again.”
“From 20m and on the unruly he should be able to walk up and trot away nicely.”
Steel The Show steps out in race 10 after running fifth to Henry Hubert after being slow away from the tapes at Addington last week.
The pacer appeared to be there to strike on the home turn but disappointed late.
But Dunn thinks the race should best be forgotten.
“The last run didn’t suit him because he was in chase mode after he was slow away.”
“It doesn’t suit him at all, he is a horse that needs to get his rhythm.”
“He is still learning his gait, he is not the greatest gaited horse in the world but he is getting better.”
“I think we will put that race behind us, he should be able to get his rhythm going behind the mobile in that field on Friday night.”
Dunn also starts Donegal Carrickfin (race 2), Off N Gone (race 3), Got You Covered (race 8), Passion And Power (race 11) and Surfers Delight (race 11) at Friday night’s premier meeting.