Champion harness racing reinsman Dexter Dunn has chased the double century the past two seasons and come up one win short on both occasions. “It was disappointing, especially considering I got so close both times,” said Dunn. “I would have rather finished those two seasons on 195 wins because seeing as I finished on 199 I couldn’t stop thinking what if I had done this differently or what If I had done that?” So to avoid disappointment again Dunn set himself different goals this season and just tried to drive every race as well as he could. And as so often happens, by not chasing it or even thinking about, Dunn brought up that elusive milestone. And he did it in style tonight at Forbury Park in what was their last race of the season. Dunn headed to Dunedin’s Forbury Park, which has been a happy hunting ground for him all season, with 197 wins under his belt and not really expecting to bring up the double century. But while Dunn drives plenty of winners for ‘the big guys’ like boss Cran Dalgety and father Robert Dunn, he also drives a fair few winners for the ‘battlers’. And it was one of them, Steve Lock of Invercargill, who provided him with an unexpected early double. Dunn brought up win 198 for the season aboard Snow Boy, a battling pacer come trotter, who finally broke maidens at start number 58. He then doubled the dose when winning aboard Lock’s in form pacer Blazing Bracelet, who remarkably gave Lock just his third win at Forbury Park in the past seven years - all three of them this season and two of them tonight. Dunn then produced a peach of a drive to extricate the Paul Kerr trained Whozideawasthis out of a tricky posisition and into the clear, allowing his charge to steam home for a narrow win to keep his unbeaten record at Forbury Park intact and give Dunn the magical milestone. Fittingly, Kerr forgot his colours so the win was brought up with Dexter wearing the colours of his father Robert Dunn. Dunn has now driven 200 winners in a season on three occasions, having also achieved the amazing feat in 2011 and 2008. Meanwhile, in form trotter Monnay overcame one of the biggest handicaps ever in recent years – 70 metres – when winning the feature trot race at Forbury Park. By Mitchell Robertson
American Ideal three-year-old Whozideawasthis continued his love affair with Forbury Park when remaining unbeaten on the Dunedin track last night. Trained by Paul Kerr in Ohoka, Whozideawasthis has ventured to Forbury Park on four occasions and has been victorious every time. Remarkably, the colt has had eight starts on other tracks and is yet to win a race. Kerr was also successful with capable Jereme’s Jet gelding Alta Jerome, who was driven by Kerr’s son Mitchell. Whozideawasthis was one of three winning drives for champion driver Dexter Dunn, who currently sits on 195 wins for the season and now looks certain to crack double century, a feat that he has narrowly missed in the last two seasons. Dunn was also victorious aboard the Cran Dalgety trained two-year-old filly Margarita, who is a Bettor’s Delight daughter of the smart mare Holloway. Given a nice run in the trail, Margarita powered up the passing lane to down two-win mare Pay Me Quick, who was game in defeat after sitting parked. Dunn then guided the Chris Thornley trained Joe The Hunter to an all-of-the-way victory in the penultimate event. Meanwhile, Monnay once again overcame his 60 metre handicap to win his second race in the space of six days, while Riga Doon, who is a full-brother to superstar mare Carabella, notched up his second career win when slogging it out for a nose victory in the last race on the card. By Mitchell Robertson
Capable American Ideal three-year-old Whozideawasthis looks set to maintain his perfect record at Forbury Park on Thursday night. Trained by Paul Kerr in Ohoka, Whozideawasthis has been to Dunedin’s Forbury Park on three occasions for three wins, the latest being last week where he was an easy 2 and ¼ length winner in what was his first run since mid - November. “He has come back a lot stronger this time and I expect him to be very hard to beat again on Thursday,” said Mitchell Kerr. “It doesn’t look an overly strong field on paper and he is generally pretty good from a standing start,” he added. Whozideawasthis, who will once again be driven by the country’s leading reinsman in Dexter Dunn, will be at short odds in race four on Thursday night and, although he should win, King Louie is capable of testing him. Rated by Jonny Cox as one of his best drives of the weekend, King Louie was herculean when recovering to finish in third after making an early break in his last start and looks one half of the Quinella. Whozideawasthis is just one of three very good chances that the father-son duo of Paul and Mitchell Kerr will line up on Thursday. The first of them is two-year-old filly Princess Art, who was very impressive at the recent Ashburton trials, brushing home in 27.2 to win easily. “She is a pretty nice filly, who will take some beating over 1700 metres from the ace,” enthused Kerr. “She got out of the gate good at the trials, so there is no reason she shouldn’t be able to lead from the draw,” he added Princess Arts is an impeccably bred filly by Art Major out of smart Badlands Hanover mare Natal Franco. Rounding out Kerrs’ three-pronged Forbury Park attack is Alta Jerome, who was desperately unlucky when finishing second on this track at his last start. “We were in the trail behind Speight’s Girl and I thought it would be the perfect place to be but there must have been something wrong with her as she stopped badly down the back straight and dragged us right back to last,” explained Kerr. “It was a great effort to recover and finish a strong second,” said Kerr. Kerr said the race looks a two horse war between Alta Jerome and Goodness Gracious Me, who was super at the recent Motukarara workouts pacing 2:42.2 for the 2200 metre journey. “The 2700 metres should really suit him so hopefully he will be able to outstay her,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson
Former All Black Zac Guildford punched the wrong person when he was drunk at a house party earlier this month, says the father of the victim. The Sunday Star-Times can reveal the victim of Guildford's attack was Ryan Kerr, son of well-known Kaiapoi harness racing trainer Paul Kerr.
Star juvenile pacer Alta Christiano has been sold to a West Australian syndicate but will not be lost to New Zealand any time soon. Kaiapoi harness racing trainer Paul Kerr confirmed the sale but says the outstanding son of Christian Cullen will remain in his care until at least next year.
Blowing $400,000 worth of races in six days comes with some benefits. For example, for his harness racing connections of Alta Christiano it means their exceptional colt goes into Saturday's $1.2 million Harness Jewels raceday at Cambridge under a lot less pressure.
Ohoka conditioner Paul Kerr has bad news for rival harness racing trainers hoping Alta Christiano was flattened by the juvenile pacing run of the season last Saturday (May 12).
If you wanted to witness quality harness racing tonight (Friday March 23) then all you had to do was cross to Addington Raceway in Christchurch for a couple of hours between 7.35pm and 9.30pm. Wow the standard of racing was impressive and all the big names were to the fore. If this is the start of what's to come in 2011-12, then it's going to be a bumper season.
Despite the programme only calling for 10 races Auckland Trotting Club this Friday night had the resources to run 13 races...so the northern harness racing club obliged. Racing Manager Kevin Smith takes up the story.
The Paul Kerr trained Alchemist booked herself place in the $200,000 Group One Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Final being held at Alexandra Park on December 31 with a decisive victory in heat three of the harness racing series held at Addington Raceway last night (Friday).
The preliminary and confirmatory harness racing analysis of the post race urine sample taken from Auditor General following his win at Menangle Park on Saturday November 27, 2010 have shown to contain the prohibited substance Dexamethasone.
The Paul Kerr trained Auditor General looked primed and ready for a return to the races at short notice with an impressive win at today's(Monday) Addington harness racing trials.
"I'd had to have been totally hopeless not to win that," was the way harness racing trainer and part-time reinsman Paul Kerr described his first winner in the sulky since the 2003/04 season. Not that Kerr is a regular pilot on raceday by any stretch, in fact the Ohoka horseman has donned the colours on just 12 occasions in the past six seasons.
The Paul Kerr trained Auditor General made it three wins on end when he easily won the ILT Foundation Summer Cup (2700 stand) at the Invercargill Harness Racing Club's meeting at Ascot Park today (Sunday).
Burgeoning junior driver Mitchell Kerr is letting no grass grow under his feet in his first season as a distinctly promising junior driver. The 17 year old, who is attached to his father Paul's Northwood (near Christchurch) establishment, has already driven the winners of 10 races since starting off in mid-December when he drove three in a day at Ascot Park.
Auditor General, who beat Rocket Reign in the main pacing trial at Rangiora today Tuesday 9 December, is destined for a Southland campaign with several of trainer Paul Kerr's stable mates.