By Glenn Davis
Trainer Matt Dunn can’t recall the last time he saddled up a Brisbane winner due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but is hopeful of ending the drought at Doomben on Wednesday.
The Murwillumbah-based Dunn is normally a major player in Queensland’s south-east but has been forced to switch most of his Brisbane bound horses to Sydney.
“I’ve got 15 horses in Sydney now which normally go to Brisbane,” Dunn said.
“It’s been very difficult to cross the border due to the COVID-19 restrictions and it’s much the same with Brisbane trainers trying to come to the Northern Rivers.
“Neither myself nor my staff can go to the races up there until the restrictions are fully lifted and we’ve got to send our horses up the day before and leave them with another trainer.
“It’s been so long since I’ve gone to Brisbane regularly that I can’t recall my last winner there.”
Dunn has two runners at Doomben, with both Thunderous Strike and Stuck With You clashing in the Class Two Plate over 1350 metres.
Dunn slightly favours Stuck With You - a Jim Byrne mount - over Thunderous Strike who will be ridden by Michael Cahill.
Stuck With You started his career in Victoria with Joseph Waldron before being sent to Dunn at the start of the year.
The four-year-old gelding made a perfect start in his debut, storming home to down Ready To Party in a Maiden Handicap at Murwillumbah on May 31.
Dunn then took him to Grafton where Stuck With You ran on well to finish second on a heavy track in a Class Two Handicap (1225m).
“Stuck With You is going well but was held up a bit last run,” Dunn said.
“He went from winning a maiden to running in a Class Two last time and the horse that beat him, Amirykal, ran third in the Highway Handicap at Rosehill on Saturday.
“He’s drawn the rails compared to Thunderous Strike (barrier 5) and I think he’s got a good future.”
Dunn believes there’s further improvement to come from Thunderous Strike who has placed at his past two starts at Grafton and Port Macquarie.
“He needed the run when he ran third last start on a heavy track at Port Macquarie but he’s sharpened up since then,” he said.
“I feel he’s probably looking for further ground than this.”
Racing Queensland webnews - June 30