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Dunn goes back to the future

By Glenn Davis

It will be a case of back to the future for Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn when he heads to Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Dunn has been a regular force over the past decade targeting Brisbane metropolitan racing from his northern NSW base before COVID-19 restrictions were brought in a year ago.

The restrictions forced Dunn to concentrate mostly on NSW racing with the odd sprinkling of Brisbane runners.

While he still maintains his base at Murwillumbah, Dunn has since opened a small satellite stable in Sydney.

The decision to expand into Sydney means he is no longer classified as a NSW country trainer and is ineligible to participate in that state’s series of Highway races in which he has been highly successful.

Dunn accepted with five runners at Eagle Farm but will rely on three with Devine Grey - a Stephanie Thornton mount - leading the stable charge in the Benchmark 78 Handicap over 2212 metres.

Michael Cahill will ride both Marmaris in the Benchmark 78 Handicap over 1600 metres and The Fire Trap in the Class 6 Handicap over 1400 metres.

Devine Grey
Marmaris
The Fire Trap

Devine Grey was bought for $21,000 as a weanling by stable clients of Dunn and has already returned connections almost $95,000 in prizemoney with five wins and three placings from 18 starts.

The four-year-old has won two of her last three starts including a dominant two-and-a-half length win over 2170 metres at Ipswich on January 23.

“She has the ability to quick at the end of long races,” Dunn said.

“She’s doing a great job and gets in well at the weights.

“I don’t think there looks to be a lot of depth in this race so she should be hard to beat.”

Marmaris has been a huge money spinner for his owners, banking almost $133,000 in prizemoney after being sold at an online auction for a paltry $2,750, while The Fire Trap was knocked down for $80,000 at the Magic Millions QTIS March sale in 2017.

The Fire Trap was having his first start since September when he finished 10th to The Odyssey in the QTIS Magic Millions at the Gold Coast on January 12.

“He runs well fresh and won first-up in Sydney on a heavy track in July but I think it may have floored him as he went bad at his next three runs,” Dunn said.

“I freshened him up and he went around on Magic Millions day but he got too far back.”

Dunn has been a regular supporter of the QTIS March sales at the Gold Coast with his bloodstock agent Neil Jenkinson. 

“Neil and I have been going to the Magic Millions sales every year for the past few years and we’ll be there again next month,” he said.