What a night for John Dunn and Diamond Racing

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Fresh from a PB at Addington last night, John Dunn has a first ever drivers' premiership in his sights.

Before last night he'd had six wins in a day (twice) before but never seven.

"I knew I had a great book of drives but never thought I'd get seven winners," says Dunn, "the way it all went, you couldn't have scripted it better."

The "personal best" result sees him leapfrog six-time drivers' premiership champion Blair Orange. Dunn now has 80 wins in 2024, Orange "his great mate" has 78.

"It looks like we'll be having a go this year but there's a long way to go," says Dunn, "but if there was ever a year to go for it this is the year."

Such has been his form that Dunn has had 28 wins in May alone. 

If he's successful John Dunn will join brother Dexter Dunn as a premiership winner. He won 10 in a row before becoming a star in North America, where he is still based.

Bruntwood Brigade got the night off to a perfect start when he beat the Mark and Nathan Purdon-trained favourite Renaldo in the first and then reeled off victories with Frazzled (R2) and Follow Your Dream (R4) before triumphing with four hot favourites, Queen Tyron (R6), Hadron Collider (R7), Harrison John (R9) and the Bob Butt-trained Dynasty (R10).

"After those first two I thought I've still a lot of good drives left and just got into a bit of zone."

John Dunn joins his brother Dexter, Doug Watts and Tony Herlihy as the only drivers to have won seven in one night. Dexter Dunn did it at Forbury Park in May 2015 while Watts' haul came at Reefton in 1954 and Herlihy's seven was at Alexandra Park in 2001.

Keeping it very much a family success story, six of John's wins were trained by Diamond Racing. They too had seven winners on the night, the other being the Orange-driven Andy Hall.

While John eyes up the drivers' premiership, Robert and Jenna Dunn have extended their lead in the trainers' premiership to 22.

"And that's great for them too," says John, "to get seven at Addington is a huge achievement."

The record for training eight wins belongs to the All Stars (Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen) in 2018 with Michael House among others to have won seven. He achieved that feat at Manawatu in 2019, with Blair Orange driving six of his winners.

On their Facebook page Diamond Racing posted :

"Wow, what a night! Seven wins on the card is a tremendous achievement that requires a lot of hard work behind the scenes from our staff. Thank you to our loyal owners for trusting us to deliver these results for you."

Diamond Racing looks set to win back-to-back training premierships this year. They have 85 wins during 2024, with Steve and Amanda Telfer next on 63.

As for last night John says "he had a couple of quiets to celebrate but nothing too crazy."

And you don't have to wait long before the next installment of Dunn vs Orange - both are in action tonight as part of the huge Auckland Cup/Rowe night at Alexandra Park.

Orange has two drives (R3 Frisco Bay and R7 Republican Party) while Dunn has three (R6 Bounce N Beyond, R8 Eurokash and R10 Always B You).





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