Sundees Son the one to beat in tonight's National Trot
By Michael Guerin
Driver John Dunn admits the gap between Sundees Son and his two young gun rivals is closing.
But whether it has closed enough to see him beaten in tonight’s $100,000 Peter Breckon Memorial National Trot at Alexandra Park is the question.
Nobody doubts Sundees Son is the best trotter in Australasia, especially over longer trips, but he has been beaten in his last two Alexandra Park starts by first Bolt For Brilliance and then last week Muscle Mountain when they have settled in front of him.
It continues a pattern over the last 12 months, with the young pretenders able to outsprint Sundees Son in 55 second last 800m splits when they lead but being run off their hooves when he leads and gets up a head of steam over longer distances.
Tonight’s 2700m mobile looks ideal for Sundees Son and Dunn is adamant he will be a fitter horse than when he chased Muscle Mountain in vain last Friday over a mile but Muscle Mountain in particular looks to be getting stronger and more troublesome to overpower when he can dictate terms.
He has the gate speed to lead again tonight as while Temporale will cross to the lead if asked to, over 2700m he would seem certain to hand up and Dunn concedes Muscle Mountain should end up in front.
“Over 2700m I don’t think we will burn out early and I don’t think we could hold the lead if we do,” says Dunn.
“But it is only a small field and I think they will settle in single file. If they do that we will be able to get away from the markers when we want and if we have to sit parked outside Muscle Mountain for the last lap I will make sure we are running hard.
“Both Muscle Mountain and Bolt For Brilliance are very good horses but I think over 2700m we can outstay them. The gap is definitely closing between us and them but I think the distance really helps.”
With Muscle Mountain and eventually Sundees Son likely to be on the front end of the field controlling the tempo that could leave Bolt For Brilliance doing the chasing on his home track, with his best case scenario probably securing the one-one on Sundees Son’s back and hoping the two favourites go to war.