Matthew Dunn nailed a Highway Handicap trifecta at his last attempt at Randwick and now the series’ most successful trainer can win two in one day.
Strong demand to run in the $200,000 Anniversary Highway (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday has prompted Racing NSW to add a $100,000 Highway consolation to The Everest card.
Dunn is one of five trainers with hopes in both races with the Murwillumbah horseman saddling up four runners in the two races restricted to country-trained horses.
Delightful Feeling represents the stable in the 14-runner Anniversary Highway, a race Dunn feels is easier to win despite its added prestige.
“I feel the second division is probably a little bit stronger. It sounds crazy but it’s got younger horses coming through with good form that haven’t had a chance to build their ratings yet,” Dunn said.
Delightful Feeling won two Highways in October-November and was to return to Sydney for the Country Championships over autumn, but the six-year-old failed to qualify.
Instead he resumed in August and will have his first run at Randwick after a midweek win over 1400m at the Gold Coast at his third start of the campaign.
“He showed good speed. He was dominant and he’s found his groove again,” Dunn said.
Delightful Feeling also pleased Dunn on Tuesday when he worked with class sprinter Quatronic who beat Everest contender Deploy in the Listed Ortensia Stakes in May.
“If he can stay with Quatronic, he’s in really good shape,” Dunn said.
Cascata Rossa spearheads Dunn’s three-pronged crack at the consolation Highway, seven days after he was unexpectedly upstaged by stablemate Bronzed Venom.
“I didn’t think I’d ever ever see that happen,” Dunn said.
“He obviously got the softer run in behind, and peeled off his back and stalked him.”
Dunn was confident Cascata Rossa would handle the seven-day back-up because he hadn’t missed a beat since the race.
Zamex won two Highways in June and races second-up after running at the Sunshine Coast on September 30.
Dunn’s other runner is Madame de Barn.