With all the hype coming from across the Tasman as we build towards Sunday’s Inter Dominion Grand Final Day, you could almost be excused for forgetting that there is a supersonic racenight at Alexandra Park on Friday.
However, one man who definitely won’t be forgetting is Geoff Dunn, who will line-up both of his star three-year-olds on the ten-race card.
But, while Friday’s Prelude will just be a warm-up before next week’s Derby for top colt Tiger Tara, the $125,000 Great Northern Oaks is Venus Serena’s grand final.
“They have both travelled up really well and have both been eating up and drinking,” said Dunn, who stables his horses with Andrew Grant when in the North Island.
“They both seem well and I have been very happy with their work,” said Dunn. “So I guess my only concern is the draws,” he added.
Superstar filly Venus Serena has drawn out in six, with two of her main dangers inside her, while Tiger Tara is only slightly better off in barrier five.
“The Derby Prelude field only has six horses in it, so Tiger’s draw probably isn’t as much of a disadvantage as Venus Serena’s is,” admitted Dunn. However, Venus has shown time and time again that she can make her own luck, so I don’t see why Friday will be any different,” said a bullish Dunn.
Dunn also sees the step up to 2700 metres as an advantage for Venus Serena.
“We all know how tough she is and over the longer distance Johnny (Dunn-driver) will be able to choose when he puts her in race,” enthused Dunn.
But while Venus Serena has already won five times in the North, Alexandra Park is uncharted territory for Tiger Tara, however Dunn does not see that as a concern.
“He seems equally happy going the Alexandra Park way round, and he has worked well on the Pukekohe track,” said Dunn.
“With four nice horses having drawn inside him he will probably have to go back at the start, but he can follow speed all day so if they go hard he will be coming over the top of them at the finish,” predicted Dunn.
"And you would think next week's Derby distance will suit him as well," he concluded
By Mitchell Robertson