Popular Dubbo horseman Dar Lunn had every reason to head into Christmas with a smile on his face after scoring a winning double at Dubbo on Saturday.
The well-supported Christmas program continued despite a delay due to passing thunderstorms, and after Sensei Jackie (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $6) finished second in the 1400m Maiden Handicap, Lunn had to wait until the final two races to bring up his double.
Firstly, he combined with Chelsea Hiller when winning the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap with Pants On Fire ($8.50).
In a race-to-race double to round out the meeting, Jake Pracey-Holmes rode Elson Boy ($10) to victory in the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap.
Lunn was thrilled to enjoy a good day on his home track and give back to his loyal owners.
“It was good to get two winners, and sensei Jackie ran second, so we finished up with two wins and a second from our three starters,” Lunn told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
“The same guys in Guy Mitchell and Rob Pratten own the three of them, and they’ve got five in work with me at the moment.
“They put a lot in and deserve a bit back, and they are great owners and do whatever you like, which makes my job a lot easier.”
Pants On Fire’s win was very impressive, with the five-year-old thriving in the soft conditions, finishing over the top of her rivals in the six-furlong event.
“When the rain came, I knew she could handle the wet a bit, and I was a lot more confident,” Lunn said.
“She had trialled good, and we took her to Mudgee, but her run was a bit different, and we brought her home and couldn’t find a thing wrong with her.
“My daughter (Brianna) does acupuncture and massage; she did some body work on her, and she seems to have come right.”
It was a very different win for Elson Boy, with Pracey-Holmes taking up the running on the four-year-old before the pair held on strongly for a good victory in the final event.
“He also trialled well at Wellington, and I took him to Narromine first-up, and it was a good run, and Jake (Pracey-Holmes) came back saying he would win next start over a bit further,” Lunn said.
“Then, 1400m second-up, Jake thought it might be a bit hard, and I told him, ‘Let me worry about that, ‘ I thought he would be hard to beat, and he ended up winning well.”
Since overcoming health issues in late 2022, Lunn has continued to notch up winner after winner, and he is preparing for a big 2024, with his two Dubbo winners bound for the rich Country Championships.
“Both of these horses are eligible for the Country Champs, and that’s what we’ll start to work towards,” Lunn said.
“Pants On Fire has had 16 starts so far, so we’ll have to be careful there, but I’ve got a bit of an opinion of her.
“Elson Boy has only had 12 starts; so we can look for the right races before then.”
Lunn will now turn his attention to the Gilgandra New Year’s carnival, with the club racing on December 30 and January 7.