The weekend's racing continued a good run of late for the Robert Dunn stable. Wins by The Royal Garden Saturday and Return To Sender Sunday, kept the winning tally ticking over. With just over 2.5 months left in the current season and the total of winners standing at 83, another century of wins does appear on the cards.
The Royal Garden, a recent acquisition for the stable scored an emphatic win for pilot Robbie Close in a heat of the Australasian Young Drivers. After staying out of the early speed, Close picked his time to lodge a challenge. After going up to the pacemaking Mach's Terminator at the 200m, the 4yr old Mach Three gelding surged away for a comfortable win by 4.5 lengths. Even better for connections was that this win comes penalty free. He looks certain to lodge another win in the short term. The 2600m was cut out in a sharp 3.12.7 for the 2600m, with the last 800m in 58.1 and the last 400m in 28.9.
Return To Sender did look one of the good chances for the day at yesterday's Timaru meeting. In what was a heat for the invited lady drivers, a confident drive by driver Tracey Healy saw the Ian Dobson owned 4yr old assume the lead with over two laps to go. While he faced some pressure throughout, he maintained his advantage to the line, winning by 2.25 lengths from his game stablemate Little Lion Man, partnered by Kim Butt. This was the Mach Three 4yr old's 5th win in his 32 start career.
In other notable runs for the weekend:
- All Royal Gal and Little Rascal both produced strong runs for 4th and 2nd respectively at Alexandra Park on Friday. They now return to the Woodend base to be prepared for the Harness Jewels on 30 May.
- Code Black produced a nice run for 5th in the yearling sales pace at Addington behind the ultra-impressive Lazarus.
- Price Of Fame and Secret Lotion ran strong races for 3rd and 2nd respectively yesterday at Timaru.
At the close of the day yesterday, the stable have had 625 starters for the season for 83 wins, 79 seconds and 64 thirds. They are 36 wins behind runaway leaders, the Purdon/Rasmussen team, but are equally well ahead of the third placed Cran Dalgety stable who are on 52 wins.
In terms of the drivers premiership John sits 5th with 70 wins. He is just 13 wins behind the second placed Blair Orange, but remains 104 wins behind runaway leader Dexter who has 174 wins. Dexter achieved another personal milestone on Friday night at Forbury, reining home 7 wins. He is the youngest driver in New Zealand to complete this feat and the third after Doug Watts and Tony Herlihy.
A reminder that Jewels Day is just 19 days away. Certain starters for the stable look to be:
- Code Black in the 2yr old Emerald
- Little Rascal in the 3yr old Emerald
- I've Got This and All Royal Gal in the 4yr old Ruby.
This weeks racing sees three harness meetings - Addington (premier meeting) Friday, Invercargill Saturday and Oamaru Sunday.
Posted: Mon 11 May 2015