Matthew Dunn has won his share of Highway Handicap races but the NSW northern rivers trainer has celebrated a first Sydney win against metropolitan opposition with Snitz.
Ridden a typically aggressive race by Nash Rawiller, Snitz ($12) camped at the flanks of leader Star Boy, quickly getting the better of him in the straight and spearing clear to score.
He won Saturday’s Catanach’s Sprint (1200m) by 1-3/4 lengths over Jen Rules ($12) with Outrageous ($9.50) making ground for third a long head away.
Dunn’s wife and stable representative Kiera said Snitz’s win was a milestone, giving them their first Sydney victory outside Highway Handicap class.
“It’s obviously our first winner down here against city trainers and it’s definitely a thrill,” Kiera Dunn said.
Snitz has done the bulk of his racing in Brisbane and his only two previous forays to Sydney were in feature races restricted to country-trained horses.
The stable was confident Snitz could break through on Saturday after Rawiller rode the horse in a barrier trial and followed up with the race ride.
“Once we knew he was chasing the ride we were pretty confident with how he was going,” Dunn said.
“We’ve got a few horses down here and we have to give them a chance to step up to this grade and while they continue to do it and race well I’ll stay down here.”
Rawiller said he was able to get Snitz into a good rhythm and knew he had the race in the bag at the top of the straight.
“He did give me a great feel in the trial and still had a fair bit up his sleeve but the team has done a great job with him, he’s taken a really good forward progression and he was very dominant today,” Rawiller said.