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Sleepy Tripp has pleased trainer Robert Dunn in preparation for the Green Mile on the grass at Methven tomorrow.
The 7yr-old gelding joins Major Mark, last year's runner-up, and Ohoka Texas on the second line in the free-for-all. Sleepy Tripp, with earnings of $741,169, recently joined the Dunn stable at Woodend Beach where John Dunn, son of Robert, has been working him.
''Johnny's very pleased with him,'' Robert Dunn said.
''He took him to the trials at Methven last Sunday and he did very well.''
None of Sleepy Tripp's 48 starts has been on grass. But the former New Zealand Derby and Easter Cup winner is coming off a strong second to Easy On The Eye
in a 2600m mobile free-for-all at Addington on New Zealand Cup day.
''That was a super run. He went really well,'' Robert Dunn said. John Dunn will have the drive.
Major Mark, driven by Blair Orange, is seeking his first win since March, 2011.
Co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen said the 5yr-old was working nicely. ''He's a bit of a heavy horse and we think he just got away on us a little bit,'' Rasmussen said.
''But he's looking pretty good now. He's working well. I think he'll like the grass. He's a good pacer, so it shouldn't pose a problem at all.''
Ohoka Texas, trained by Mark Jones, and the Cran Dalgety-trained Texican also feature in a strong field. Elmer Hanover, trained by Brendon Hill at Kaiapoi, is seeking his third win in six starts.
Course records for both pacing and trotting were set at Methven last year. Ohoka Dallas clocked 1.56.5 in the pacers' mile, and Clover Don set the trotting mark with 1.59.6.
Clover Don, trained by Murray Alfeld, is back for another crack at the trotting mile, in a field that also includes Springbank Sam, the Phil Williamson-trained 5yr-old who has already won twice in three starts this campaign.
• I Can Doosit coasted to his 18th consecutive win, in the Lyell Creek Stakes at Alexandra Park last night.
Mark Purdon settled I Can Doosit second-last in the six-horse field, but the 7yr-old was always an ominous presence in the 2200m free-for-all. Purdon bided his time until the home straight where I Can Doosit charged to the front, beating Escapee by five and a-quarter lengths in 2.45.6.
I Can Doosit won the race last year and in 2010, when it was run over 2700m.
Purdon had other big-race wins last night, with the filly Adore Me in the Ladyship Stakes, and Smolda in the Franklin Cup.