Dapper Dana wins 4YO Championship

03:45 PM 25 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Dapper Dana with trainer Juanita McKenzie.jpg
Dapper Dana with trainer Juanita McKenzie
WHEN prominent harness racing owners Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper bought Dapper Dana early last year as an unraced three-year-old in New Zealand they were hopeful of him reaching top grade.

Dapper Dana hasn't disappointed and his latest win is testament to his ability and growth as a serious racehorse.

In Launceston last Sunday night Dapper Dana (Rocky Duggan) powered home to defeat the highly ranked Melolyn and in-form Devendra in the $10,000 4YO Championship over 2200 metres.

Dapper Dana has progressed through the classes with this latest victory his sixth this season and ninth career win.

He won his first three races in Tasmania before finishing second in the St Leger to Victorian three-year-old Ginger Bliss.

Trainer Juanita McKenzie aimed the gelded son of Bettors Delight at the Tasmania Derby in which he finished third to Ginger Bliss but after a failed interstate trip for a crack at a $20,000 3YO Classic at Ballarat he returned to Tasmania for a well earned spell.

His form this time in has been outstanding winning six of his 10 starts that also includes two luckless seconds.

Dapper Dana has been driven in most of his races by Ricky Duggan who was aboard last Sunday night.

"He's very quick," Duggan said.

"As he was going through the grades we'd let him run the gate and lead."

"But now that he's up in class we tend to let him settle back in the field and use his sprint," he said.

This was arguably Dapper Dana's best win as he had to come from behind and run down Melolyn that took control midrace and he has always been hard to run down while Devendra came from last with 500m to go to finish on the heels of the winner.

By Peter Staples

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