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Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn will prepare himself for next week’s $3 million Big Dance at Randwick when he starts a couple of promising gallopers at Grafton on Tuesday.
Dunn will start favourite Written Fame in the Beyond The Valley Music Festival 16 December C,G&E Benchmark 58 Handicap (1175m), while Bertinelli will contest the Lawrence Tavern Christmas Cup 26 November F&M Benchmark 58 Handicap (1175m).
Trainer Matthew Dunn is gearing up for the Big Dance.Credit: Getty
“Written Fame has a tricky gate being drawn very wide, but his maiden win was pretty good the other day, and it looks like it’s a race that will suit him,” said Dunn.
“He is on the way up, and he couldn’t have been more impressive when he resumed at Murwillumbah. I’d like to think he can win again.”
Ashley Morgan takes the ride on Written Fame, while Matthew McGuren will be in the saddle on Bertinelli. “Bertinelli has been racing really well this campaign,” Dunn said.
“She ran second at Ballina and Lismore, then was very impressive winning her maiden at Lismore.
“She was only just beaten at Murwillumbah last time out, and she only needs to run up to that to be in the thick of things again. She’s a filly that, I think, can win this race at Grafton and then progress to town and be very competitive.”
Meanwhile, Dunn said he looks forward to heading to Randwick next week for the Big Dance, with Cepheus the pre-post favourite.
An Ajax Stakes winner earlier this year, Cepheus became eligible for the Big Dance with his South Grafton Cup win during the July carnival.
He has won the $300,000 Shannon Stakes and the $1.5 million Alan Brow Stakes at his latest two starts, and Nash Rawiller retains the ride in the Randwick feature.
“Cepheus went to Rosehill last Friday, and he looked really good when finishing second in a barrier trial,” said Dunn. “With his high rating, he’s going to have a big weight to contend with in the Big Dance, but Nash knows him well and we can hopefully draw a good gate to give him his chance.”
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