Westport redemption for Donegal Carrickfin
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Donegal Carrickfin disappointed his connections when breaking at Addington last week, but he more than made up for it at Westport on Friday when demolishing his rivals in the Cosmopolitan Hotel Mobile Pace (2600m) to win by 10 lengths.
Driver John Dunn found the one-one position early with the gelding trained by his father, Robert, where he remained until he asked his charge to improve with 800m to go.
Dunn continued to apply the pressure and Donegal Carrickfin took a two-length lead turning for home, which he extended with every stride down the home straight.
Dunn was happy with the winning effort, but he was more pleased that his charge stayed in his gait for the entire trip.
“It was a big drop back and he has always had ability. He got around in one piece, which was a big help today,” said John Dunn, who heads his father’s Canterbury barn.
“I thought he would go a nice race last start at Addington and he galloped. He had been working well and I was expecting a good run, but he let us down last start. I was just hoping he didn’t do the same, and thankfully he didn’t.”
Donegal Carrickfin will back-up at Reefton on Sunday where Dunn believes he will be a strong chance once again.
“He goes back up to the next grade, but the way he won today and the time he went he should cop that,” he said.
Earlier on the card stablemate Jimmy Arma cleared maiden company in impressive fashion when winning the Buller Refrigeration & Electrical Mobile Pace (2600m).
The Changeover gelding sat outside leader Sense Of Occasion for the majority of the race, and the pair opened up a margin on their rivals from the 400m mark.
In a hotly contested duel down the home straight Jimmy Arma got the better of Sense Of Occasion to win by a neck, with 16 lengths back to Khal Drogo in third.
It was Jimmy Arma’s first start in 14 months and Dunn is hoping he can now go through the grades after given time to mature.
“He trialled up nice and he was a nice enough maiden, and he did no work in the running,” Dunn said. “Hopefully he can go on with it.
“He was just a big, weak fella, so they gave him a bit of time to mature and it paid off for them.”
Dunn secured a driving treble when reigning home the Murray Pash-trained Jazelle to win the TRT Builders Mobile Pace (2600m).
“She has been in great form,” he said. “She had a bit of a freshen-up since Blenheim, which she went really well over that carnival.
“It was a nice field for her to meet again and she got a good run, which was a big help, and she was too good for them.”