What's left for Sundees Son?
By Michael Guerin
There is one last question about Sundees Son - will he ever get the chance to show the Australians just how good he is?
When the reigning Horse of the Year answered the famous question “who wants to a millionaire?” with a brutal and methodical winning performance at Addington on Friday night the point of difference from other millionaire trotters in this part of the world was that he has never raced in Australia.
That means every cent of that million-plus has been earned on New Zealand soil and racing some very serious top end trotters rather than the sometimes easier kills he might have got in Australia.
That he could accrue such a staggering career winning tally is all the more remarkable because he was so erratic as a younger horse and the money is just one payoff for the Dunns, quasi caretaker Craig Edmonds and his owners Colin and Nancy Hair.
But everybody, well everybody who loves good horses and lives on this side of the Tasman, wants to see Sundees Son go to Australia.
He almost did, well kinda, for the Great Southern Star this year but Covid travel restrictions and life got in the way, with the race clashing with the yearling sales and so many other things at home.
While the intent is there, the timing isn’t.
Because there is absolutely no reason for Sundees Son to head to Australia any time soon, the next logical and worthwhile target being the Inter Dominions in Victoria starting late November.
It is a long time in racing between now and November and who is to say Sundees Son will be as dominant.
But if he is, if he is a three-time Dominion winner then Australia will beckon as the last thing he has to prove.
The Inter Dominion Trotting Final is rumoured to going up to A$250,000 and that would be enticing and while Addington will host a new mega meeting in early December if the borders are open John Dunn would be able to go back and forwards to drive him.
The trip would be doable, the timing close to ideal.
But does Sundees Son need to go to Australia? Does beating their best trotter Majestuoso, who even trainer Andy Gath would admit Sundees Son is better than, prove anything?
After all, Winx never travelled.
The answer is no and yes.
Sundees Son doesn’t need to go anywhere. He is already a champion and could edge well toward $1.5million in stakes before the end of 2022.
Horses don’t travel far and wide for a variety of reasons. Winx never did because the stakes were so much better at home.
Other are trained by those with huge commitments at home, whether they be stable or family, and the trip is simply not possible.
And some horses have very specific needs, whether they be a beach, pool or just being close to home.
If Sundees Son has had one Achilles heal in his wonderful career it has been setting off the speed in sprint races and being unable to catch the leader, whether that be Majestic Man, Muscle Mountain or Bolt For Brilliance.
So what say he did go to Melton and Majestuoso beats him and Australians, being Australians, say the Kiwi trotting form wasn’t all that after all?
Like we did see last weekend when Roch N Horse beat the Aussie sprinters.
But that is what champions do. They overcome obstacles to win against the odds.
It is what Black Caviar, Lyell Creek and Lazarus did. Beat them on their home turf.
Sundees Son doesn’t need to go that far, in fact he doesn’t need to go anywhere.
He could stay here and win that third Dominion and be King of his impenetrable castle.
But he deserves to go. He deserves to show them and everybody else. He deserves to be a Southern Hemisphere champion with not the slightest question at the end of his career.
I want him to go. You want him to go. And the people behind him want him to go.
He should go. And smash anything that dares get in his way.