PROMINENT trainer Robert Dunn has sent star pacer Alta Maestro to the southern arm of his stable as he pushes on with the youngster’s Sires’ Stake campaign.
Alta Maestro was an expensive failure for punters in the first northern heat at Cambridge last Thursday night, ultimately running last in the six-horse field as a hot favourite.
Subsequent blood tests explained the three-year-old’s performance, with Dunn having little cause for concern since.
“It was either the end or beginning of a minor virus, but we treated him and he appears to be getting over it,” Dunn said.
“His blood work is improving and we will check in again early next week.”
Pukekohe-based Dunn had always planned to head south to Woodend Beach with the son of Art Major.
“That was the plan; I really wanted to get him down in to the beach training routine,” Dunn said.
“He’s had a couple of tie-up issues in the past and we wanted to get him settled as soon as possible before the Final.”
Alta Maestro is yet to qualify for the $170,000 Final on November 14, but Dunn will likely give him two more opportunities to do so.
“The next heat is on the 20th and he should be right for that,” Dunn said. “Then there’s another one a fortnight after that, too.”
Alta Maestro was joined on a trip south by trotting mare Yagunnakissmeornot, which lines up at Addington tonight.
“She’s nominated for the Dominion Handicap, and if she’s going to get a start, we have to try and get her up the pecking order a bit,” Dunn said.
She’s won an impressive 16 races, but they have all been at Alexandra Park.
“Surprisingly, she’s never won left-handed,” Dunn said. “She seems to be trotting well that way at Pukekohe back home and I guess we will find out tonight whether she’s as good on race night.”