Filly wins July Carnival ticket
More injuries followed, like when the filly broke her tailbone when being broken in and further bad luck when she went through a fence. Early on it was one setback after another.
Scars over the filly's silken frame are testament to her array of wounds.
At Grafton yesterday, however, everything was all but forgotten when Lady Marmaletta scored a boilover win in the Tursa Inglis Grafton Guineas Prelude (1425m).
Starting at $31 and paying a whopping $53.50 a win on the NSW Tote, Lady Marmaletta earned a place in the $45,000 Tursa Employment & Training Grafton Guineas (1600m) on July 8.
Anguish and frustration for Dunn turned to glee and thoughts of greater riches to come. Emotions overflowed.
A win in the Guineas would not only net Dunn the major share of $45,000 but the race carries an additional $50,000 bonus if the winner was bought at an Inglis sale.
Lady Marmaletta, who is raced by Dunn, ticks that box having been purchased for a meagre $3500 at the Dubbo sales.
"Wow, I can't believe this," a delighted Dunn said after the win over La Spiaggia ($2.30) and Life At Sea ($2.80). "It's all very exciting.
"At the start of this preparation I aimed her at the Guineas, that was the plan. Now we're there.
"It's something to really look forward to, having a runner during the carnival."
Dunn described the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade as her "demon child".
"The first 18 months I had her she just had injury after injury," she added. "I was going to get my dad into the horse but I didn't want to burden him with all the vet bills. She's just been bound by injuries.
"She's got scars everywhere. She owes me but I really love her."
Dunn has held a trainers' licence for just two years and has four horses in work. To date Dunn has trained five winners. She was previously involved in dressage and show horses but has worked in the racing industry for many years mainly as a track rider.
The three-year-old was coming off a last start five-length defeat at Quirindi.
"She didn't handle the run down the hill. It wasn't true to her form," Dunn countered.
Winning jockey Ben Looker was impressed.
"She had a nice run. She travelled super in the run," Looker said. "When I let her down she accelerated very quickly. When she got there (to the front) she wanted to stargaze and float around a bit but it was a very good win. She can only improve."
Looker made it an early double scoring on Andrew Pilling-trained Lucinate in the Clarence Valley Wholesalers Maiden (1120m).
THE 2015 edition of On Track will be inserted into the The Daily Examiner on Saturday, June 27. The free publication takes an inside look at all things racing and fashion ahead of the July Racing Carnival, which starts with Westlawn Day on Thursday, July 2.