Day At The Track

Elios tops off tremendous day for team Dunn

12:58 AM 11 Jan 2014 NZDT
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John Dunn and the owners of Franco Nelson Donegal’s Guest Franco Nelson
John Dunn and the owners of Franco Nelson Clive McKay, Rona McKay & Sharon McKay
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Donegal’s Guest winning the Marlborough Cup Prelude
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Franco Nelson wins the Pelorus Classic
Race Images Photo

The win of Elios, who toppled Christen Me in last night’s four & five-year-old Futurity Stakes at Cambridge, put the icing on the cake on what was an inch-perfect day for the potent Dunn duo.

From the modest heights of a couple of maiden wins early on in the day at Blenhiem, things went from good to great for John and Robert Dunn when they combined to win the Marlborough Cup Prelude with Donegal’s Guest and then the Pelorus Classic with Franco Nelson.

 “I didn’t think my day could get any better after that but the win of Elios (driven by Brent Mangos) at Cambridge really topped things off nicely,” said John Dunn, who reined home five winners for the third time in less than a month.”

“I really do have to thank my staff, I have been holidaying in Nelson for the past week, but luckily for me they brought the whole team up to Blenhiem in tip top condition.

While the winning performances of Cullect A Guineas, Light Up Boss, and Robyn’s Raider were all very good, the performances of Donegal’s Guest, Franco Nelson, and Elios took centre stage.

“Donegal’s Guest is just absolutely flying at the moment,” said Dunn. “He is a very happy horse who wants to be out there and doing it.

“His runs prior to going on this circuit were good but he seems to have gone to another level now.”

Through their respective Group Two wins, both Franco Nelson and Elios are guaranteed spots in the $200,000 Chariots Of Fire in Sydney on March 3, but while Elios is as good as there, Dunn says that Franco Nelson may bypass the four-year-old feature for a bid at the Inter Dominions.

“Nothing is set in concrete at the moment, but we are definitely considering it,” said Dunn, who is stoked to have the Christian Cullen entire back on the job.

“Around Cup time he was getting to the front and pulling up, but he has well and truly got his mind back on the job now.”

“The draw worked out perfectly and after getting an easy time in front he was always going to take a lot of catching.”

While many were unhappy that Franco Nelson was able to pick and choose between the Cambridge Futurity and the Pelorus Classic, Dunn says the plan was always to go to Blenheim.

“We only left him in at Cambridge in case we couldn’t arrange travel to Blenhiem,” Dunn explained. “In the end Tony Shaw had to cut his holiday short to drive him down here, so he is another person that I need to thank.”

By Mitchell Robertson

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