A 10-hour road trip and the engagement of one of Australia’s finest jockeys has proved a winning formula for trainer Matthew Dunn.
Hanwritten became the second Highway Handicap winner in as many weeks for Dunn and jockey Hugh Bowman at Randwick on Saturday.
Quatronic took out last Saturday’s race for country-trained horses, giving Bowman his first success in the series.
Dunn’s wife and assistant trainer Keira said she couldn’t think of anyone better to have on the horse.
“We’re from the country, a little Murwillumbah stable, so it’s such a privilege to have him on.”
Hanwritten and Quatronic followed the same path, making the long journey on the Wednesday before race day from Murwillumbah on the NSW-Queensland border to Rosehill where they stayed in Gerald Ryan’s stable.
“It’s not that bad. We jump on the highway and we’re straight down,” Dunn said.
Bowman settled Hanwritten, the $3.20 favourite, behind the speed and took the lead at the 250m to win by 1-1/2 lengths from Leami Astray ($5) who finished with a 2-1/4 length gap to You’re Kidding Me ($21).
While Dunn had effusive praise for Bowman, she also paid tribute to trackwork rider Holly Julia.
“She’s been with us for years and she rides him,” Dunn said.
“I think it’s really her doing.
“She takes him out first before any other horse works and it’s definitely got a lot to do with her.”
Dunn said Hanwritten might target next year’s rich Country Championships.