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Lunns Boot Out Family Ties At Wellington

By Tony Megahey

An amazing set of circumstances sees the extensive western racing family ties of the traditional Lunns turn to intense rivalry at Wellington’s Boxing Day meeting.

Of the six Dubbo based Lunn racing brothers most have made the natural progression from jockeys to trainers while others are prominent owner/breeders with horses trained in the family. They clash often enough on western tracks.

Veteran trainer and ex-jockey Garry, with a strong winning prospect on the five-race programme, outlined the unique racing dynasty.

Karen Lunn will saddle up Olive Beauty in Race 1. Credit: Bradley Photos.

“I’m the eldest, Dar, Michael and Lee all had successful riding careers before training, while Wayne, call him ‘Bronco’ and Shane all race horses trained in the family.  “Karen, Michael’s wife, trains- they’re opposed in the first race and Lee has one in as well- that’ll be lively. I’ll stay out of it thanks,” Garry chuckled.

“But I mean in this business while we help each other out, race days we’re out there to beat each the best we can. That’s only natural if it’s your profession, and we’ve all got separate stables.”

In the opening event, the Wellington Boot 8th April 2018 maiden, Michael has Daliapour’s Beauty, his wife Karen trains Olive Beauty, while Lee prepares Exquisite Halo.

“Not sure if that has happened before, but up here on the regional circuit we race against each other often enough,” Garry said. “On the day you respect them, but it comes down to just another opposing trainer you’re trying to beat. Family doesn’t come into it when you’re going for the prize-money for different owners.”

Garry is buoyed about the chances of his former Melbourne mare Duchess Darla in the Kitch and Sons Class I (1100m).  She carries 58kgs for vastly experienced Ken Dunbar.

“She bolted in winning her maiden at Dubbo; ran decent time and the way she’d progressed we thought she’d win again at Orange,” Garry explained. “But she travelled badly in the float, stressed out and she’d run her race before we got there.  In hindsight, maybe we should have turned around and came home but just forget she went around. She’s back to where we had her and in a suitable race, I like her.”

Wellington officials are catering for a bumper holiday crowd in fine weather on a good three track.

View the fields and form for Wellington's Boxing Day meeting here.

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