Day At The Track

Campbells' super Sun's stunning rise

04:29 PM 15 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Sunofatrump, Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

Sunofatrump ran around Melton like a drunken sailor back early this month, but master reinswoman Kerryn Manning managed to steer him home to a heart-warming victory in his first racetrack appearance since mid-2018.

Now he'll turn from the hunter to the hunted when he goes around as a warm favourite in tonight's Niota Bloodstock Trot (2240m) against a small field of rivals.

Paul and Maree Campbell decided around two-and-a-half years ago to retire the son of Tennotrump after 71 starts and six victories, but were to reconsider that call when their daughter, Holly, started to prepare him for a career in showjumping.

Maree noticed him working impressively one day and thought it was worth giving him another shot at the races.

And that move was rewarded with the long-odds success at Melton on January 2, when he rounded up a quality field with ease, despite racing roughly in the home straight.

Maree, who trains the nine-year-old, said it was an exciting result for the family.

"You enjoy the highs while you have got them, because you never know when the next high is going to be," she said.

"We have let him totally get over that run because we didn't want to flatten him after such a long time off the racetrack (by) backing him up too soon. But I'm really happy with him.

"We are all a bit nervous. We like to be the underdog ... it's much better when you have no pressure."

The reins have been passed over to young driver Tayla French for this evening's race and, while careful to not get ahead of herself, Maree remains confident of back-to-back success.

"She has never driven him before and he's a little bit quirky, but she'll be right," the Maiden Gully trainer said.

"If he trots, he's got a good chance. With Kerryn, she'd driven him last time he was in work and it will be Tayla's first drive on him, but I can't see why (he can't win).

"I don't want to sound arrogant, because that's not my personality, and there's obviously another half-a-dozen horses all trying to do the same as what we want to do, but with the right run and no bad luck he's got a very good chance."

Sunofatrump has drawn barrier four in the NR 56 to 69 event, one inside what looks his main danger in Barhoon for Brad Aylett and Rebecca Bartley.

The Niota Bloodstock Trot is race six on tonight's seven-race card, which kicks off with the opener at 6.14pm.



HRV - Tim O'Connor

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