Dunn, McGuren make amends to strike in Maclean Cup
IT TOOK top trainer Matt Dunn and jockey Matt McGuren right until the last July Racing Carnival feature to find a winner when Saxton Rock clinched the Maclean Cup on Monday.
The pair of Matts combined again to win the $32,000 1400m Maclean Bowling Club feature with the talented five-year-old.
McGuren had not ridden a winner until the Maclean Cup but steered Saxton Rock to an imposing win from John Sprague’s Chamisal with David Campbell’s warhorse, Melted Moments, third.
Dunn, who had also won Saturday’s Highway Handicap in Sydney with Rothenburg, claimed his 60th win of the Northern Rivers Racing Association season as well to lead a trio of training combines – Trent and Toby Edmonds, Kris Lees, Dwayne Schmidt and Stephen Lee by 40.
McGuren also leads the jockey’s premiership with 58 wins from good mate Ben Looker (37).
Saxton Rock is a five-year-old gelding son of Snitzel with six wins from 34 starts.
“It was a real good win too,” stable foreman Toby McIntosh said.
“Good to see him bounce back to form. He’s been a nice horse for the connections. We’ve always had a high opinion of him.”
McIntosh said McGuren lobbed the gelding into a perfect spot just “behind the speed” and “got all the favours”.
“He’s a horse we always would be a strong miler in town,” he added.
And “town” is where he could be headed now with a metro visit on the cards.
Earlier in the day Scone trainer Steve Jones scored his first win at Grafton this season when Les Amoureux powered to a good win today.
The four-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice had not won in 20 starts before Saturday’s $22,000 GM Accounting Maclean Maiden Handicap (1700m) but scored a strong win to celebrate her 21st.
Jones then had to settle for second in the following race, the $22,000 John Allen Memorial Benchmark 58 Handicap (1700m).
He had saddled up Shame Warned in the middle distance benchmark but his three-year-old son of Shamus Award couldn’t peg back Real Gent.
Greg Howells prepares real Gent at Grafton and the grey gelding, a son of French stallion By Kendargent, refused to lie down after being perfectly rated by Coffs Harbour apprentice Kyle Wilson-Taylor.
It was the grey gelding’s fifth win at his 25th start and he had to carry 63.5kg although Wilson-Taylor offset two of those kilograms with his claim.