Matthew Dunn will have his first Sydney runners as a trainer in his own right when he starts Londehero and Sister Emma at Randwick on Saturday.
Dunn is based in NSW’s northern rivers region and usually sends his city-class gallopers to Brisbane.
His search for a more expansive track than Doomben, the only metropolitan circuit operating in Queensland while Eagle Farm undergoes renovations, prompted the trip south.
“They go around at Doomben every week at the moment and it’s too hard for horses who get back,” Dunn said.
“There are some exceptions but if a race is run at a normal tempo they just can’t make up the ground.”
Dunn is no stranger to Sydney where he spent almost a decade as stable foreman to prominent trainer Gerald Ryan before moving to Murwillumbah six years ago.
Londehero represents value as a $16 chance in the Canterbury Leagues Club Handicap (1000m) after resuming with a narrow second to Hardline, who was being prepared for a Group One in Melbourne until he went amiss.
Dunn has adopted a different approach to the five-year-old’s training this campaign, restricting him to short sprints.
“His last start was as good as I’ve seen him run for a long time,” Dunn said.
“It’s just unfortunate he bumped into a pretty handy horse.”
Sister Emma will line up in the Icap Handicap (1400m) in what could be her final start before stud.
Dunn said her mixed recent form was deceptive and expected her to relish a big track.
“She has been even more of a victim of Doomben than Londehero,” Dunn said.