Garry Lunn is no stranger to success or a good horse, having trained the likes Ateates in years gone by.
Most recently, Lunn has put in an almighty training performance with talented galloper Knife’s Edge, with his six-year-old now a city winner, country cup winner, and qualified for the $2 million Big Dance.
Since arriving in the Dubbo yard earlier this year following stints with Cindy Alderson and co-owner Luke Morgan, Knife’s Edge has started five times for Lunn, registering three wins, including victories in a Highway Handicap back in November before taking out the $75,000 Coonabarabran Cup on Friday.
“He’s just been racing well and it’s good to win good races for those blokes,” Lunn said.
“Especially for Luke, who trains himself and breaks them in, and he loves to win a race as much as anyone.
“The horse has really improved since coming here and hopefully he can win a few more nice races for them.”
At Coonabarabran on Friday, the Dubbo galloper had to defy a leader bias, with Mikayla Weir guiding Knife’s Edge from well off the pace to defeat the Rod Northam-trained High Court (Grant Buckley, $5.50) by 0.37 of a length, while 2.17 lengths away in third was Beckford (Serg Lisnyy, $4.20).
“There was nothing from the back winning all day,” Lunn said.
“We thought about riding him closer, but we didn’t want to change his pattern of racing, so we rode him for luck, and he was good enough on the day.
“I was very confident going to races, and I thought he was the best horse in the race expect maybe the top weight (High Court), but we got in better with the weights, and Mikayla got a lot out of him in that last 50 metres.”
While the $2 million Big Dance and $500,000 Little Dance is in the back of Lunn’s mind, he believes it is difficult to set Knife’s Edge for the race this far out, but he confirmed that he will certainly tailor his next preparation around the rich country cup final.
“It’s not until November next year, and he has qualified, but it’s too far away to be setting horses for,” Lunn said.
“We will try and win another race this prep, and he will go for a spell later on and hopefully we can pinch one in town and get his benchmark up there so we can go in the Big Dance.”
For now, Lunn is considering setting his galloper for the 1800m Benchmark 78 Handicap at Rosehill Gardens on January 7, or the 2000m Benchmark 78 Handicap at Rosehill Gardens on January 14, and he thinks another city win is on the cards.
“He’s has pulled up a treat. I swam him for a couple of days, and he’s blossomed and really come on,” Lunn said.
“There is a couple of good races in town for him, and I think he is definitely a Saturday horse in the right grade, and I think he can go on and win a couple of nice races.”
While Knife’s Edge victory in the Coonabarabran Cup highlighted a huge day on Friday, Peter and William Stanley combined to win the $35,000, 1100m Showcase Sprint with The Long Run ($5.50).
For all results, click here.