Drivers John Dunn and Gavin Smith were in potent form on the first day of Nelson’s two -day summer carnival, winning a combined total of five races on the 12 card program.
Smith enjoyed early success when producing tidy front running displays aboard Bettor Not Knowing and Tricky Girl, before Dunn overhauled him in the Streamline Freight Drivers Challenge, combining with father Robert for a treble, highlighted by the win of Donegal’s Guest in the Nelson Cup Prelude.
“He has been going some very big races in behind some pretty classy animals, so we were confident of a bold showing,” said Dunn.
“He is quite a nice horse, and the way he went yesterday you would expect him to be very hard to beat again on Sunday,” he added
It was Donegal Guest’s third run on the Richmond Park track and his second win. His other resulted in a close-up second.
Smith and Dunn also provided the Quinella in the eighth race with Nikola narrowly downing Spunky Monkey who, like stablemates Bettor Not Knowing and Tricky Girl, was sent to the front by Smith.
Amberley trainer-driver Jamie Keast was another who enjoyed a good day at the office, finishing in the money on four occasions and winning a heat of the Canterbury Mares Speed Series with Seven Point One.
“We have had her at our place on the beach for a week and she has just been jumping out of her skin,” said Keast, who steered the Lis Mara mare to a 1-56.1 victory.
“She is pretty classy when she is at her best, so if we can keep her in that form I would expect her to be very hard to roll on both the second-day and in the Canterbury Mares Final,” he enthused.
Meanwhile, those who I jotted down in my ‘Blackbook’ as unlucky on the first day are Kerryn Kylie, Gryate, Franco Tyson, Coyote, Spell, Candy Styx, Woodlea DJ, and Thorn In My Side.
By Mitchell Robertson