Day At The Track

Venus Serena serves it up in Gr.1 feature

08:58 AM 19 Apr 2013 NZST
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Venus Serena with Joihn Dunn Venus Serena and John Dunn John Dunn West Melton trainer Geoff Dunn
Venus Serena with Joihn Dunn - Geoff Dunn and Mr and Mrs Bob Sandford.
Duane Ranger photo
Venus Serena and John Dunn - win the Group One $110,000 Caduceus Club Pace.
Duane Ranger photo
John Dunn - after winning his second Group One race at Alexandra Park.
Duane Ranger photo
West Melton trainer Geoff Dunn - with the Cuduceus Club trophy at Alexandra Park tonight.
Duane Ranger photo
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West Melton conditioner Geoff Dunn trained his first Group One winner at Alexandra Park tonight (Friday April 19) while his nephew John drove his second when scoring with Venus Serena in the Group One $110,000 Caduceus Club Pace.

It was also the second time co-owner and breeder Bob Sandford won the 2200m pace for 2-year-old pacing fillies.

Half-sister Rona Lorraine, a $170,000 yearling purchase, was also bred by Sandford. She won this race in 2007.

"This is a great thrill. I am very pleased for Bob and his wife Janine. She is a stunning racehorse. Her reserve price of $40,000 wasn't met at the yearling sales, and Bob bought her back," Dunn told Harnesslink.

He said he was delighted to have won his first Group One race at northern harness racing headquarters.

"She's easily the best 2-year-old I have trained. She has a huge motor and can stay all day. She has won two races before tonight and gone 56 halves.

"She certainly makes the job worthwhile," a delighted Dunn said.

John Dunn agreed.

"She's a super filly with great speed. I'm looking forward to driving her here again in the next couple of weeks.

"She felt real nice tonight and can only get better considering this was her first start here," Dunn said.

The victory came almost four years after Dunn won his first Group One race at Alexandra Park - the $170,000 Magness Benrow Sires Championship for 2-year-old pacing fillies.

The Mach Three filly sat back on the outer before Dunn asked her to go three-wide at the bell. They were then parked down the back before out-muscling the $3.20 favourite Angelina Jolie and David Butcher by 1-3/4 lengths in the straight.

Venus Serena, who was the third favourite, paid $3.20 to win. She and Angelina Jolie were well clear of the opposition at the finish line with Sabellian and Natalie Rasmussen some seven lengths back in third.

Winner's time for the 2200m mobile: 2:45.1. Mile rate: 2:00.7. Last 800m: 58.3. Last 400m: 28.6.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

VIDEO:

Venus Serena and John Dunn win the Group One $110,000 Caduceus Club Pace at Alexandra Park tonight:

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