Dexter Dunn predicts a rare change of tactics when superstar pacer Christen Me returns to racing at Addington tonight.
But he says punters need not worry, he still thinks the NZ Cup favourite will win.
Christen Me kicks off a huge weekend for driver Dunn and trainer Cran Dalgety, who also have two favourites at Sunday’s rich Breeders Crown meeting at Melton.
But while Katy Perry and Bit Of A Legend will have enormous support there, Christen Me will be red hot in tonight’s $12,000 handicap pace even though he faces a 30m handicap.
He earned a spot in the race by breaking 54 seconds for his last 800m at the Rangiora workouts on Monday, beating former stablemate and race rival tonight Locharburn by six lengths.
Locharburn wasn’t pushed in that workout and Dunn still rates him the biggest danger to Christen Me tonight, with the champion horseman knowing both horses well after driving the former to win the NZ Derby last season.
“Locharburn is a really good horse but he is still only four and I think my fella (Christen Me) will have too much speed for them,” said Dalgety.
But he warns there is unlikely to be a repeat of last season’s early tactics when he rushed to the lead on Christen Me to dominate his rivals with blistering last 400m sectionals.
“I want to drive him with one run at them,” Dunn said.
“It is only a small field but he is having his first run back and with that sort of run he can really sprint so this is a good chance to try that.
“It doesn’t always work out that way but that is why I am thinking.”
Dunn says Christen Me thrilled him in trackwork on Wednesday morning and he is confident of starting the huge weekend well.
He is also beaming about the chances of Katy Perry, who headlines a five-filly New Zealand attack on the A$291,000 juvenile final on Sunday.
Katy Perry only narrowly beat Joannes A Delight in their semi last Saturday but Dunn says that was misleading.
“I only let her go the last 100m and she was jogging.
“She has really thrived over there and she is a better filly than what we saw over here.
“There are some good fillies in the race but I think I will be able to lead and that will make her very hard to beat.”
Bit Of A Legend has no such luxury from the outside of the second line in his A$100,000 four-year-old pacing final in which he attempts to become a three-time Breeders Crown winner.
He returned from a soreness-enforced nine month break with brutal win last Sunday but has a definite class edge on his rivals.
“I couldn’t believe how well he went last Sunday considering he hadn’t raced for ages.
“Cran has got him really well and if he can get to the parked out spot mid-race he is the one to beat so my biggest concern is three wide train stalling and us getting trapped back in the field.”
Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand