Take a bow Johnny Dunn - six winners for the afternoon.
It has been a great day two at Blenheim with five wins from the stable and of even greater note, a six win bag for Johnny for the first time in his career, an outstanding achievement.
Loveyoutodoit capped a consistent run of form with a decisive victory in the first race. A good second behind stablemate Valloria at Nelson last Sunday, Loveyoutodoit stepped well and enjoyed a good sit in the trail behind the pacemaker Beat The Heat until turning for home. After being briefly held up for a run, she got the passing lane run at the 200m, cruised up to leader Rachmaninov, before easing out to a one length win.
Loveyoutodoit is a four year old Love You mare out of Do It Your Way, an unraced Sundon mare that is a full sister to the well performed Idid It Myway – 74 starts, 14 wins, five seconds, three thirds, $199,867.
The win continues a great run for the Neumanns – Ian, Alan and Vinnie, who are joined in the ownership of the mare by Alan “Legs” Anderson and Richard Bensdorp. Both have worked for the Neumanns for over 20 years.
Loveyoutodoit was having just her 7th start and had recorded two seconds and a third previously. She had four starts as a three year old last season out of the Craig and Aimee Edmonds stable. John picked her out as a yearling off Pat O’Driscoll and she looks like a mare that is improving with time.
Summer Wealth appreciated a drop in company and a return to the mobile barrier, beating a field of R47 to R50 pacers on his ear in Race Six, giving John win two for the day. A winner at Ashburton in his first start for the Robert Dunn stable back in November, Summer Wealth has produced some mixed efforts since. However, some of these have been from stand starts and he has also raced in some good fields at times.
Away safely from behind the mobile barrier, John sent Summer Wealth forward with purpose to take the lead at the 1000m mark. Once there he was able to dominate the pace and coming to the home turn, was under a tight rein. Allowed his head at the top of the straight, he immediately found a couple of lengths. While the challenges came over the last 100m, he was always travelling too well and held onto a two length advantage at the line, winning in 2.21.3 for the 1850m, home in a smart 58.5 for the last 800m and 28.7 the last 400m.
Today’s win was his second from just 12 starts for the five year old half brother by Mach Three to Em Ef Cee – 27 starts, five wins, four seconds and four thirds, $29,538. He is owned by the Calders’ and the MacNeills’.
It was you guessed it – the Neumanns’ - that were again at it in Race Seven. Tyron Bettor’s Ella returned a first up second and then a second day win at Nelson last weekend. However, today she was up in company and off a tricky second row draw. In the rearward group at the 1000m, John sent her forward and at the 700m was up disputing the pace outside of Scottlyn Justis (inner), and Bobby Tee (middle). Turning for home she still looked to be travelling a treat and despite a tough run, swept to the lead at the 100m. She could have been excused for lying down in the closing stages, but really stuck to the challenge to fight off a late swooper in The Kaik, in 2.21.3 for the 1850m, giving John three for the afternoon.
A five year old Bettor’s Delight mare she is providing a great investment for the time she has been allowed to develop after several issues in her younger days including a broken pelvis. She appears a tough mare and should kick on with things as evidenced by her three runs to date.
A race later and it was four wins as a driver for Johnny on the day with Diamonds N Cash doing a great job for Breckon Racing, recording his third win in just six starts since joining the Woodend arm of the stable. Added to that are two seconds and a 4th and he has done a great job in six starts in the south.
Today he stepped well, but raced outside pacemaker Take After Me in the early stages. Stilled parked at the 1000m, but travelling well, he was soon put in an awkward spot as the three wide train came around. At the 400m he was caught in tight quarters, but managed to push into the clear five wide turning for home. He powered to the lead at the 200m and then held on for a convincing win by one and a half lengths, in 3.08.8 for the 2400m stand.
A Rocknroll Hanover three year old gelding, Diamonds N Cash is certainly bred to be good. He is the 8th foal out of Diamonds N Gold – 22 starts, five wins, eight seconds, four thirds, to race. He is the the 7th individual winner and is well on his way to match the efforts of half sister Maid In Splendour – four wins, and half brother Golden Delight – seven wins.
Lovetodream looked the unlucky stable winner on day one and simply needed a strong pace to be tough to beat in today’s cup over the 2850m. Well enough away from her 20m handicap, she was a conservative 15 lengths off leader Run Boy Run at the 1100m. With the pace still on inside the last 800m, the field raced in indian file. John was able to secure the back of the favourite Don Domingo from the 600m and together they swept round the field three wide turning for home. Held up until the 200m, John pulled out the Bettor’s Delight six year old with her run at the 200m and she went to war with Franco Tristan that had swept to the lead. In a real ding-donger finish she outstayed Franco Tristan by a head, in turn recording her 8th win from 33 starts and in doing so taking her stake-earnings to over $70,000.
Owned by Suzanne Williams, Keryn Woodham and Shirley Cummings, Lovetodream has done them proud through her career. After winning four of her first seven starts for the Nigel McGrath stable, Lovetodream had her share of problems and eventually joined the Robert Dunn Woodend stable in June last year for the benefits of a beach preparation. She has won three out of 17 since joining the stable, with a further 10 placings. The three ladies earlier raced Kabet and Better Than Money out of the Robert Dunn stable.
The win completed five wins for the day for John as a driver and for dad Robert as a trainer, however, Johnny still had one last chance for the day in Franco Saxon for the in-laws Craig and Aimee Edmonds. Back third last at the 1000m mark and five lengths off the lead, John waited until the 450m mark before sending his charge three and four wide with his run, hitting the lead at the 100m mark and holding on from the late finisher in Titanium.
So what a day for John. Six wins from from 10 drives and in doing so he joins an exclusive, but small club of drivers that have driven six winners in a day, including brother Dexter.
The six win bag is a fantastic achievement for a super guy, who is well liked throughout the industry. Never one to boast or to push his own case, John has consistently been one of the quiet achievers of the harness racing game. He is an outstanding horseman, an incredibly hard winner and deserves all of his success. Good on you son!
Article by Mike Drury
Posted: Sun 21 Jan 2018