IN Racing
Raw Dunkel a topliner in the making
Talented three-year-old Dunkel has plenty of improvement still to come.
NZ Racing Desk | December 26, 2022
Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Talented three-year-old Dunkel has plenty of improvement still to come but was able to score a relatively comfortable victory in the Frank O'Brien Handicap (1800m) at Sandown on Saturday despite giving favourite punters a few nervous moments.

The Patrick Payne-trained gelding was slow to begin and was awkwardly placed last on the fence when rounding the home bend, but jockey Harry Coffey was able to coax the best out of the son of Dundeel, who sprinted quickly after finding clear air.  

Bred by Pencarrow Stud, Dunkel ($1.60 favourite) scored by 1¾-lengths over Barefoot Tora ($18) with stablemate Hard To Cross ($5.50) in third.

Winning on debut at Moonee Valley over 1600m in October, Dunkel was a luckless second in the Cranbourne Classic (2025m) last start and shapes as a stayer of good promise.

"He's not quite there yet," Coffey said.

"It was unusual in the early stages today. He wasn't brilliant out of the gates and I didn't want to rev him up because we had a long time to catch them but he was really unenthused and didn't really know what was going on.

"Once he got into the clear he let rip and did what he can do.”

Out of the stakes-placed Cape Cross mare Kudamm, Dunkel was a $40,000 Karaka yearling purchase by Steven Ramsay from the draft of Pencarrow Stud.

The youngster was then presented at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale through Ohukia Lodge, where he was knocked down for $100,000 to the bid of Patrick Payne, who sought the opinion of family friend Kevin Myers given he was unable to attend the COVID-restricted 2021 sale.

Dunkel Patrick Payne Harry Coffey Dundeel Pencarrow Stud Barefoot Tora Hard To Cross Moonee Valley Cranbourne Classic Cape Cross Kudamm Steven Ramsay Pencarrow Stud New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale Ohukia Lodge Patrick Payne Kevin Myers