Two-year-old Art Major colt Say My Name looks to extend an already impressive start to his career, with victory, in the Avon City Ford New Zealand Welcome Stakes, at Group 2 level. After two unlucky runs at Group 3 level back in February - Sapling Stakes 3rd, Kindergarten Stakes 2nd, he has been so impressive the last two weeks back at Addington.
With some bigger money up tonight ($40,000), the field is understandably full of form runners and big reputations.
While last week John let the colt blaze off the gate, there is a fair bit of speed drawn inside this time and he may look for a sit early on. Lead, or trail, this field will need to be at the top of their game to beat the Robert Dunn trained runner which has a number of big race targets in sight over the next couple of months. The Sales Series final, the Sires Stakes and the Harness Jewels are notable amongst the races targeted.
The feature race on the evening is the Group One Muscara Standardbreds New Zealand Derby. Here the Robert Dunn stable are represented by No Doctor Needed and Return To Sender, placed 6th and 7th respectively in last week's derby prelude the Group 2 Vero Flying Stakes. While realising the enormity of their task in this week's contest, trainer Robert Dunn was upbeat about the runs of both last week, especially 4 start "veteran" No Doctor Needed.
"He's going to be a super horse this fella," said Robert. "The harder they go the better. He's the sort of horse that even now could keep kicking on a crazy speed race.
“From their "visitors" draws of 12 and 13, the two will need all favours if they are to compete with the big three of Locharburn, Tiger Tara and Isaiah. It is sure to be a superb derby!
By Mike Drury (Courtesy of Robert Dunn Racing)