Racing: Stunin Cullen returns to superb best at Addington

Stunin Cullen  (outer) has Ohoka Texas covered at the end of 3200m at Addington yesterday. Photo...
Stunin Cullen (outer) has Ohoka Texas covered at the end of 3200m at Addington yesterday. Photo by Trish Dunell.

Stunin Cullen returned to form with a superb win at Addington yesterday.

The 7yr-old entire won over 3200m in a smart 3.58.3 for the 3200m, the final 800m in 56.9.

Stunin Cullen has won 18 of his 42 starts for stakes of $1,493,716 for his Dunedin owner, Eddie Griffin, who races the horse with Terry McDonald, of Christchurch.

Griffin said last night the win was "fantastic" and it was a great training feat by Tim Butt to turn the horse's form around.

"Tim has only been back training a few weeks. The beach work seems to have worked the oracle.

"The horse had no luck in the [New Zealand] Cup after being knocked over and came from well back yesterday," Griffin said.

"It was one of his best performances - he ran nearly the same time as Terror To Love [3.58.6] did in the Cup. It was up there alongside his Hunter Cup win."

Griffin said a decision on the future of Stunin Cullen would be made in the next few days.

"Tim is quite keen to take the horse to Australia as there are not many races for him here.

"The problem is if he goes we could need a new driver as [stablemate] Mah Sish is going over."

Stunin Cullen, a son of Christian Cullen and Vicario, numbered among his wins two Yearling Sales Paces, the New Zealand Sires' Stakes as a 3yr-old, the 2009 Great Northern Derby and 2011 Victoria Cup.

• I Can Doosit closed in on the winning sequence of Lyell Creek when he won his 17th race on end in the $200,000 Dominion Handicap yesterday.

The Dominion Handicap last year was the last time I Can Doosit had been beaten.

Lyell Creek won 20 races in a row and 56 in all, for stakes of $2,961,137. He won the Dominion Handicap in 1999, 2000 and 2004.

The win of I Can Doosit was the first in the race for trainer-driver Mark Purdon.

The 7yr-old settled eighth. He moved up three-wide with cover from the 1100m and was third into the straight.

Pacemaker The Fiery Ginga was collared at the 150m by Stig, with I Can Doosit having the final say on the outer and winning by three-quarters of a length.

His time for the 3200m was 4.04, and the last 800m was run in 58.

The record for the Dominion is 4.02.9 set by Stylish Monarch in 2010.

I Can Doosit has won 34 races from 50 starts for stakes of $1,378,929.

• Springbank Sam made it a double for Cup week when he recorded his 10th win from 24 starts yesterday from the Phil Williamson stable.

The Sundon-Niamey 5yr-old is raced by Denise and Alistair Smith, of Wendon, who raced Springbank Richard, who won the Dominion Handicap in 2009.

He died from peritonitis in August.

Gold Ace recorded 1.52.6 for the mile when he won the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All yesterday after leading throughout.

Gold Ace ran his last 800m in 54.7.

The New Zealand record is 1.52.1 set by Kiwi Ingenuity at Ashburton in 2009 and equalled by Smolda in the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June.

Smolda won fresh up yesterday, recording his 11th win from 16 starts.

The Addington track record is 1.56, set by Blossom Lady in the 1991 New Zealand Standardbed Breeders' Stakes. The Breeders' Stakes was run over a mile from 1973-91. She won the New Zealand Free-For-All (2000m, mobile) in 1992.





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