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Dunn learns lesson with Guest of Honour

Trainer Matt Dunn believes he has learned a valuable lesson about European stakes winner Guest of Honour.

The gelding will be having his second run for Dunn in the Listed Members Cup (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Guest of Honour was well beaten at his stable debut when eighth behind Divine Service in an Open Hcp (1200m) on February 4.

He had won a trial in impressive fashion before that run and has trialled again since, running fourth at the Gold Coast behind stablemate Perfect Dare on Tuesday.

Dunn believes Guest of Honour will be much better suited by the 1600m of Saturday’s Cup.

“I didn’t think the run at Eagle Farm first-up was too bad. He got beaten just under five lengths but it was a pretty slick field,” Dunn said.

“One valuable thing I did learn was that I won’t be starting him on really hard tracks. He is eight years old now and doesn’t need a rock hard surface.”

A Group Two winner in England, Guest of Honour was originally trained by Marco Botti and stayed in Australia after failing to finish in the 2014 Cox Plate.

Guest Of Honour continued to race in Australia for the David Hayes-Tom Dabering training partnership but failed to run a place in 11 starts.

It was then decided to send Guest of Honour to Dunn at Murwillumbah hoping to find easier races.

“He obviously has some class about him but he will need to start showing it before too long,” Dunn said.

Dunn has joined the large number of trainers getting on the bandwagon of comeback jockey Ron Stewart by booking him for Guest of Honour.

“Ron rode another winner on Wednesday at Doomben and seems to be in great form,” Dunn said.

Stewart, who made a comeback to riding after a year’s break in December, has had three previous rides for Dunn for two winners.

If Guest of Honour was to strike form Dunn hasn’t ruled out a trip to Sydney.

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