Matt and Keira Dunn can finally look forward to an overseas trip after well-travelled mare Conniving won a Highway Handicap at her fourth attempt with a classy victory at Randwick.
The four-year-old’s regular trip from Murwillumbah to Sydney ended with a profitable outcome on Saturday when she held off a late burst from Barricade to give Dunn his 10th Highway victory – one clear of Canberra-based rival Matt Dale.
Unlike Dunn’s previous Highway winner Zamex, who was based in Sydney for his two triumphs in June, Conniving has headed back to her home stable after every run since her debut at Rosehill in February.
“She’s been back and forth, she’s definitely deserving of the win. She’s only a little thing and having to travel so much … she tries her hardest. If you had a stable full of her you’d be happy,” Keira Dunn said.
Conniving ($2.90) justified her favouritism with a controlled performance over 1200m to score by three-quarters of a length.
The Peter Bloomfield-trained gelding Barricade ($7.50) overhauled Dunn’s other runners, the third-placed Leap Of Legend ($17) and Runway Ready ($21) after surging from last at the 400m.
Keira Dunn said recent flooding in Murwillumbah meant Zamex stayed in Sydney but with the improved weather they took the Pacific Highway road trip.
Asked to nominate the couple’s 11th Highway winner, she said they were looking forward to taking a break, which starts in Italy in a fortnight.
“We’re going to Rome and a couple of other places. Three weeks of not being here will be nice,” Keira Dunn said.