Victorian jockey Dwayne Dunn is happy to be called upon to get the job done in Saturday’s Kingston Town Classic 2016 in Perth aboard the in-form Tradesman.
Sixteen gallopers face off in this summer’s edition of the $1 million Group 1 Peters Investments Kingston Town Classic (1800m) and Dunn’s mount Tradesman is one of the best fancied in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Locally prepared by Robert & Todd Harvey the Trade Fair five-year-old currently pays $9 in Kingston Town Classic betting led by the defending champion Perfect Reflection ($4.20).
He is drawn midfield in barrier nine, a gate that last produced a winner of the weight-for-age clash with Niconero (2006) a decade ago.
Saturday’s race continues the gelding’s rise through the grades this campaign after he won three on the trot from May – October.
After a first-up victory over 1400m at Ascot Racecourse over Scales Of Justice, Tradesman went on to finish under a length away third to the classy Grant & Alana Williams-trained mare Perfect Reflection in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on November 5.
A fortnight later he lined-up in his first Group 1 assignment where he finished fifth to the Lindsey Smith-trained Scales Of Justice, a $5 chance to continue his winning streak in the weekend’s rematch, in the Railway Stakes (1600m).
Tradesman was defeated four lengths that day, but is a livewire chance to close the gap getting out over 1800m on the weekend.
The horse boasts winning form up to 2000m and connections voted to replace his regular rider Troy Turner with Dunn.
Dunn admits he originally harboured some concerns about how Tradesman would handle the rise from 53kg in the handicap conditions of the Railway Stakes to 59kg at WFA in the Kingston Town, but has since shrugged off those fears.
“I was a little bit concerned about the jump from a handicap to weight-for-age, but when you look at most of the field, everyone is affected so that levels it out,” Dunn told The West Australian this week.
“His first try at that level was excellent. He’s looking for the 1800 and he has drawn well in nine.
“He’s in the race with a super chance, but it’s a pretty even field.”
From the barrier Dunn plans to take Tradesman up close to the pace and hopes to get a Group 1 win on the board for the galloper who could develop into a genuine interstate performer in next year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“I know in the back of their minds they [the team] have an opinion that he could race in the spring carnival in Melbourne and this will be a telling test for him,” Dunn said.
“He’s sort of the new kid on the block. He’s only lightly raced and has a very good record. There was quite a big push that he was unlucky last start.
“In a lot of his races, he sits forward. Hopefully, I’ll put him in the hot spot and see if he responds.”
Dunn has previously race experience from a stint racing in W.A. earlier in his career, including a number of victories for co-trainer Robert Harvey back in the 1990s.
“It will be great to be back in Perth and hopefully I get the right result,” he said.
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