By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
John Dunn nearly pulled off the upset of Cup Day on Tuesday, but it was not to be.
The Canterbury reinsman set a solid tempo in the Group One Nevele R Fillies Series Final (1980m) with Need You Now, making life difficult for short-priced favourite Amazing Dream to make ground out wide.
Need You Now took a two length advantage over Amazing Dream turning for home, but she was run down late and denied victory by a neck.
Trainer Robert Dunn was full of praise for his son’s drive on the classy mare, but said she was just beaten by a better horse.
“She was beaten by a super horse,” Dunn said.
“She deserved to win that race with the time she ran and it was a great drive by Johnny, but that Amazing Dream is just unreal. It was one of the best performances to see, especially with the time they went.”
The Dunn’s have been pleased with the way Need You Now has come through Tuesday’s run and the seven-win mare will now back-up at Addington Raceway on Friday in a bid to add an elusive stakes victory to her record.
TAB bookmakers have installed the daughter of Bettor’s Delight as a $1.85 favourite for the Listed Nevele R Sires’ Stakes Southern Mares Classic (1980m) and Dunn is only slightly concerned about drawing the outside of the front-row.
“She has come through the race well and she went out to the beach this (Wednesday) morning for a paddle,” Dunn said.
“The draw (9) is not ideal, but she has drawn that marble for a while now because of the preferential draws that she always cops.
“She seems to handle them well. She can go back and run home, or go forward. There looks to be a bit of pace inside, so I am not too sure what Johnny (Dunn, driver) will do there.”
Dunn will also line-up Spellbound and Sugar Loaf in the race, with the pair finishing fourth and sixth respectively in the Nevele R Fillies race on Tuesday.
“I was happy enough with Sugar Loaf, Bob (Butt, driver) said she tried her best but was probably outclassed with the speed of the race. She will hopefully take a bit of improvement,” Dunn said.
“Spellbound went huge. She made ground on the hot pace and found the line strong, so we are really happy with her.”
Spellbound has drawn one on the second-row and Dunn thinks she may get the perfect trip following out Beyond Words off the gate.
“Beyond Words has got a lot of gate speed, so I think that’s an ideal trip for Spellbound. She could definitely get a good run all the way,” Dunn said.
“Sugar Loaf has drawn six and will just find a spot midfield and hopefully she can improve on Tuesday’s run.”