Day At The Track

Dunn confident with American Tart

11:59 AM 16 Feb 2018 NZDT
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American Tart,Harness racing
John Dunn and American Tart
Photo Bruce Stewart

John Dunn knows American Tart may need every favour she can muster to claim group one glory at Addington tonight but believes she has already got the biggest one.

The speedster mare is drawn wide on the front line in the $100,000 Breeders Stakes and while that doesn't sound ideal, driver Dunn sees it as a major tactical advantage over his three main rivals.

Because American Tart has high gate speed and Dunn thinks that gives him a chance to at least get in front of Bonnie Joan, Better B Amazed and Utmost Delight, all of whom are drawn the second line.

"She gets her chance now because even though she is wide I reckon I can stay in front of those other good mares," said Dunn. "And the way she went last start then she can probably win. But she is going to need nothing to go wrong because Bonnie Joan was super last start too."

The latter clearly outpointed American Tart two weeks after sitting parked, with Utmost Delight a booming late third in the same race.

So if American Tart is made to burn early by those inside her to get to the markers tonight, then Bonnie Joan would be favoured to beat her again.

Better B Amazed worked too hard last start so might enjoy her second line draw tonight and ran third in this race last year to two Jewels winners in The Orange Agent and Piccadilly Princess so is good enough to win if the other favourites work too hard.

Dunn warns punters to expect improvement from Yagunnakissmeornot, the trotting mare he unofficially co-trains with his father Robert, in the opening race at Alexandra Park tonight. "She badly needed her run last week but still made good ground in a fast last 800m," says Dunn.

Back to her favourite 1700m distance and off the front line in a race where her fellow open class opponents are not at their peak, the sit-sprint specialist appeals tonight.

Meanwhile, the Kiwis almost all have great draws at Menangle tomorrow night as some of our biggest pacing names try to qualify for Sydney harness racing's richest night.

Lazarus (drawn the ace) and Heaven Rocks (unruly) contest preludes of the Miracle Mile, where if they both race up to anything like their best they should confirm their invites to next week's A$750,000 Miracle Mile.

Their stablemates All U Need Is Faith, drawn the ace in a weakish heat of the NSW Derby and The Devils Own, also drawn the ace in a stronger heat should cruise through to next week's Derby. But Our Bare Knuckle, who was below peak fitness when beaten last week, has a wide draw and will probably be driven to qualify for the final in her Oaks heat.

The barrier draw for the Miracle Mile will be held around 3pm NZ time on Sunday.

Michael Guerin

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