Day At The Track

Dunn is unstoppable

10:48 AM 27 Jul 2017 NZST
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Dexter Dunn

The man set to break every driving record in New Zealand harness racing history, realises he will have to wait at least another year for the most lucrative one. 

Dexter Dunn’s record-breaking season is over early after he jetted off on Tuesday for a brief US holiday, before defending his World Drivers title in Canada early next month. 

Dunn, who will take in the historic Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands early next month, finishes this season with 228 wins, eight clear of the previous New Zealand record by a horseperson of either code, which Dunn set in 2011.

Already the youngest ever member of the 2000-win club by well over a decade, and with a remarkable 10 straight national premierships, Dunn could be our most successful horseperson of all time in just 10 years, that title currently held by Tony Herlihy with 3423 domestic wins. 

But Dunn’s massive haul of $2,252,217 in the last 12 months, wasn’t enough to make him our highest earning driver in a single season, that honour being held by David Butcher whose drives won $2,328,344 in the 2008-09 season. 

“If ever somebody had a bigger earning season than me, I thought it would be Butch or Ricky May, because they have both had seasons when they won a lot of big races,” said Dunn on being informed of his rare second-placed finish. 

“I don’t mind being second on that list, because obviously this year is the most I have ever won in a New Zealand season, and that was after only winning one Group One at home.

“So it has been a huge season and to be honest I have probably only driven just over 10 months in it, with a holiday at the start of the season and time away at the Inters in Perth.” If Dunn’s calculations are right then he averages over 20 wins a month, boosting his confidence he can break his 228 record next season as well as Butcher’s mark.

“You never expect to break a record like Butch’s one, but to be realistic if I have another season like I just had, then I could break it because stakes are going up. 

“I’d only need to drive the same amount of winners in similar races next season and I could end up with $2.5million in stakes.” 

Butcher has locked in his own personal battle at Alexandra Park tomorrow night, starting the final northern night of the season two wins clear of his son Zac on the track’s premiership. 

Dunn says he will be back home in plenty of time for the Breeders Crown finals in Victoria on August 27

Michael Guerin

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