By Jonny Turner
Blueblood 3yr-old Laver is set to serve up more excitement at Timaru on Sunday.
The Geoff Dunn trained pacer turned heads and set up a track record breaking pace when leading by a big margin and holding on to run third by promising All Stars Italian Lad in his last start.
Italian Lad took 1.3sec off the all comers 2000m track record at Oamaru courtesy of the sizzling speed set up by Laver.
Driver Gerard O’Reilly’s front-running tactics on the son of Bettor’s Delight and Venus Serena were no fluke, or a result of the horse over-racing.
Dunn had a plan for the horse to roll along in front and it will not be any different when he races again on Sunday.
“We just felt that that he lacks a little bit of speed, but he just keeps on going, so we had a plan to keep rolling,” the trainer said.
“He probably rolled too fast, but it was the right idea.”
Laver has clearly not been the early running type his star dam was.
But, the 3yr-old is making up for that and is improving all the time.
“We have sussed him out with what gear he needs to wear and how he is gaited up,” Dunn said.
“He is getting better and better all the time and he is starting to feel really good.”
“I run him around as a 2yr-old and he was always jogging, but he didn’t sprint up that well.”
“We thought he just needed more time, but actually we hadn’t worked out that he just keeps going.”
Laver is not the only handy 3yr-old in Sunday’s 2000m mobile event.
El Dorado returns for his first run, this term, after running in strong 2yr-old for trainer Nigel McGrath.
The in form Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon stable have Invaluable and Alta Endeavor in the race.
The Greg and Nina Hope trained Rockntommy Rulz adds depth to an intriguing contest.
The Dunn stable also start Doctor Tim in Sunday’s rating 53-60 event.
The 6yr-old has been moderate form, but Dunn is hopeful the pacer will soon turn that around.
“He has not been himself – he has not been finding the line as we as he had.”
“But, I just think he is starting to get better.”
Doctor Tim will need to be at his best as he is taking on a strong line up in Sunday’s race.
The Purdon and Dalgety stable again have two strong chances in impressive debut winner Chevron Flies and Pocket Watch.
North Otago raider Standout and Naholo, who returns after an Auckland campaign add to the event.
Former star reinswoman, Jo Herbert, will drive in her second race after a decade away from the track in the event.
Herbert will steer Virginia Cool, for her employer Steven Boyd.
The reinswoman will have her first start back in the sulky behind Dametoro for Boyd in an earlier race.