Matt Dunn admits he is still scratching his head over the debut of well-bred two-year-old Saxton Rock.
A colt by Snitzel out of unraced Rock of Gibraltar mare Rockin Babe, Saxton Rock looked worth all his $150,000 price-tag when second in a Gold Coast barrier trial last month.
However, at his first race start Saxton Rock jumped last and ran past two tired horses in the straight to finish eighth behind his stablemate Arrestar.
Dunn was at a loss to explain the run and said he had expected much better.
“It was a nothing run. He didn’t jump cleanly and then he just didn’t want to race,” Dunn said.
“But he did draw the outside barrier there and he has barrier two on Saturday. He is much better than that first run.”
Leading jockey Jeff Lloyd has got off Saxton Rock to ride Liam Birchley-trained filly She’s Spicy with Robbie Fradd taking the ride for Dunn.
“Robbie should suit Saxton Rock and I hope Jeff is proved wrong,” Dunn said.
Saxton Rock is a Magic Millions horse and is raced by a syndicate of women making him eligible for $500,000 in bonus payments if he can make the MM Classic field.
“Let’s just get over Saturday first,” Dunn said.
Meanwhile, Dunn will saddle promising stayer Flitero in the Benchmark 75 (2200m) at Doomben,
Flitero is one of four recent winners Dunn has had in Highway races in Sydney recently and scored a strong victory at Rosehill last start over 2000m.
“His only try at 2200 metres he ran third and he has been going strongly of late,” Dunn said.
Fradd will also ride Flitero who is the clear cut favourite.