Day At The Track

Dexter Brisbane bound

11:38 AM 04 Jul 2017 NZST
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Field Marshal.jpg
My Field Marshal and Dexter Dunn

Champion driver Dexter Dunn has answered a call-up to drive last-start Group One winner My Field Marshal in next Saturday night’s Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park. 

The drives on My Field Marshal and Australia’s best pacer Lennytheshark became available because of a date clash with the huge Vicbred Grand Final night meeting at Melton. 

Anthony Butt and Chris Alford had strong commitments keeping them at Melton. 

My Field Marshal’s trainer Tim Butt gave Dunn first refusal, but had a good back-up with Blair Orange already driving at the Albion Park meeting. He will be on Delightful Memphis in the Queensland Oaks. 

“Both have driven him before, but Dexter more often. I gave him first option and it’s great he said yes,” Tim Butt said. 

“Dexter will drive him this week and Ants (Anthony) will be back on for the Blacks A Fake the week after.” 

In Lennytheshark’s case, it will be the first time since June 28, 2013 anyone other than Alford has driven him in a race. 

That stems back to when former trainer John Justice drove Lennytheshark in a semi-final of the Vicbred 3YO series at Melton. 

Alford has taken the reins in all 41 starts since, for a smorgasbord of feature races wins. 

“I’ve got some thinking to do and some talks to have with Kevin (Riseley, owner),” Lennytheshark’s trainer David Aiken said. “There’s no rush. I’ll enter him without a driver and make the decision when we have to.” 

Aiken often drives Lennytheshark in his trials and must be a chance to take the reins himself this week, but he declined to speculate. 

“I’d rather talk with Kevin and weigh-up all our options,” he said. 

Aiken also confirmed Hectorjayjay would be a definite Sunshine Sprint starter. 

“Yes, both of mine are definitely running next week,” he said. “They’ve come through their Len Smith runs well.” 

Hectorjayjay is the defending Sunshine Sprint champ after storming home from a seemingly impossible position to beat Christen Me and Ohoka Punter in a 1.51.8 mile rate for 1660m last year. 

Aiken said Hectorjayjay’s fourth after leading in the Len Smith Mile last Saturday week showed he was probably best suited to be driven with a sit at the absolute top level. 

“We had to find out. He got a fairly comfortable lead time and second split, but then Lenny really poured the pressure on down the back straight,” he said. 

“It’s always hard when you draw well with a horse that has his gate speed, but that speed he has at the finish when driven with a sit is a pretty big weapon.”

Adam Hamilton

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