Grafton races: Trainer Matthew Dunn says it’s time for promising filly to step up

TRAINER Matthew Dunn concedes the time has come for Voodoo Crown to turn potential into performance.

Dunn is convinced of the grey filly’s ability but much to his chagrin – and also that of punters – she has been beaten as favourite at her last three starts.

But Dunn has suggested punters give Voodoo Crown another chance when she contests the Class 1 Handicap (1206m) at Grafton on Tuesday.

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Trainer Matthew Dunn has a good team engaged at Grafton. Photo by Richard GoslingSource:News Corp Australia

Voodoo Crown began her race career by winning a Doomben two-year-old maiden in fast time back in January but since that success she has disappointed Dunn including her first-up fifth at Grafton over 1006m three weeks ago.

“I had her down as city class in her first preparation,’’ Dunn said.

“But then she was beaten a couple of times last time in and even though those that beat her have ended up being okay, I thought she was better than that.

“So I stopped her hoping she would improve with time. When she returned to the races, she got herself a long way back in a slowly run race which didn’t help her.

“Where she got too in that race, it was always going to end badly, it looked awful first-up but her work since has been good and I’m hoping she will show her best form.’’

However, TAB Fixed Odds price assessors are prepared to take risks with Voodoo Crown now and have her rated at $9.50 in latest betting. Her stablemate, Tilly’s Star is on the second line at $4.60 behind the Chris Munce-trained Degas at $2.20.

Dunn said Tilly’s Star showed promise with her second placing at Ballina when resuming but he still rates Voodoo Crown as his stable’s best chance.

“Tilly’s Star has improved a lot, she is much stronger now,’’ Dunn said.

“We have been patient with Tilly’s Star and her pedigree is good enough for her to improve off so she can run well.

“But I think over this trip I would lean to Voodoo Crown.’’

Dunn also has winning chances with Rockdog ($7) in the Maiden Handicap and Tivoli Street ($4.40 equal favourite) for the Open Handicap (1410m).

Rockdog goes to Grafton after a solid third in a Ballina maiden while Tivoli Street was a very good second at the Gold Coast.

Tivoli Street can take up a handy sport from a good draw. Picture: Gold Coast BulletinSource:Gold Coast Bulletin

“Since Rockdog’s last run he has been sold and the guys that bought him wanted me to continue training the horse,’’ Dunn said. “He’s no star but he is in the right race and will get his chance.

“Tivoli Street has 61kg but he carries weight well. He ran a much improved race last start and is in a good spot now.

“I was a bit concerned about him as it took a couple of runs to get him fit but he was good the other day and he’s in the right race, too.

“From his inside gate, he can take up a spot, he doesn’t need to get all the way back.’’

Dunn also provided an update on talented duo Snitz and Lady Banff after both ran pleasing barrier trials at Rosehill last week.

Snitz is likely to resume in the Listed $140,000 Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on November 28 and Lady Banff will also make her reappearance in a 1100m benchmark race the same day.

“I was happy with how they both trialled and they will run at Rosehill next week,’’ Dunn said.

“Snitz will be first-up into the Starlight Stakes. He is coming up really well.

“Lady Banff is fresh and we have left her that way as her Grand Final is until the Magic Millions Guineas in January.’’

HARDY HAS FAITH IN STABLE TRIO

Lose The Snip is very genuine, Real Time Warrior gets the staying trip and the dry track he needs, and Alsamenu will be in front for a long way.

This is how trainer Joanne Hardy describes her stable trio who are competitive chances at the Grafton meeting on Tuesday.

The ever-reliable Lose The Snip is the $4.40 equal favourite with Tivoli Street for the Open Handicap (1410m) and Real Time Warrior is also sharing favouritism with Urbino at $3.40 for the Benchmark 66 Handicap (2370m).

“Lose The Snip won the Rousillon very well three starts back at Lismore and his run at the Gold Coast last start (third to Senrima Tide) was good, too,’’ Hardy said.

“He raced on the pace and all that were up on the speed in that race finished well back behind him. He was the only one at the Gold Coast that was up there early that went on with it and they ran good time. He pulled up well and has continued to work nicely since so he should be hard to beat.

“Real Time Warrior is a different horse on top of the ground. He seems to find a few lengths on a dry track and the form around has stacked up well.’’

Trainer Joanne Hardy feels Real Time Warrior is much better suited on the dry track at Grafton on Tuesday. Picture: News Regional MediaSource:News Regional Media

Alsamenu is rated only a $26 chance for the Maiden Handicap (1106m) but Hardy said her mare will take catching.

“The biggest worry with her is the 1100m,’’ Hardy said.

“She has a lot of early toe and great speed, but I think she is going to be like a half-mile specialist.

“We brought her back to 800m last start and she ran a bottler of a race but we just can’t find another 800m race for her at the moment.’’

Meanwhile, trainer Kris Lees is undecided whether to start Urbino against Real Time Warrior at Grafton.

Urbino is very consistent with two wins and seven placings from his last nine starts but Lees is considering sending the stayer to his Gold Coast stables for more suitable races in southeast Queensland.

“He is never far away and this is the right trip for him,’’ Lees said of Urbino. “But I am thinking we might put him into our Gold Coast stable, it might be a bit weaker up there for him.’’

Lees did confirm Predictable Miss ($4.60 favourite) is a certain starter in the Grafton closer, a Class 2 Handicap (1710m).

“Predictable Miss ran a good race last start at Scone and she will appreciate the extra trip,’’ he said.

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Sky Racing News Update: 16th November 2020

Sky Racing News Update: 16th November 2020.

Originally published asGrafton preview: Voodoo’s Crowning glory

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