Dunwoody scores shock win in the VRC St Leger

When the call came through to trainers asking what distance they wanted the VRC St Leger run over at Sandown, Matt Cumani was open minded.

Due to the death of Dean Holland in a race fall at Donald on Monday, the traditional Anzac Day meeting at Flemington the following day was called off, resulting in a shift of venue for the St Leger.

With Sandown to host the Listed race on Saturday, only two distance options were available – 2400m or 3000m – a shade different to the traditional 2800m journey.

The 3000m trip won out which proved pivotal for the Cumani-trained Dunwoody to lead early and after being headed in the straight fighting back to claim victory.

Ridden by Jordan Childs, Dunwoody ($61) scored a three-quarter length win from Highland Blaze ($51) with the $2.90 betr favourite Midnight Glow the same margin away third.

“That’s why we put Jordy on,” Cumani said.

“He’s been riding brilliantly from the front and that was his only chance to be able to do it.

“Whatever the distance he’s raced over, he’s been finishing off quite well.

“Funnily enough, they called to see if we wanted it 2400 metres or 3000 metres as a change of distance and I was actually open-minded, because third-up, we’re going to go forward and 3000 metres is going to be a bit tricky.

“But Jordy just got the sectionals perfectly and he fended off a couple.

“He’s a wonderful galloping, game horse that you would like to go to war with, be your charger, because he’s so big and strong and keeps going.”

Dunwoody was a $5000 yearling purchased at the Melbourne Gold Sale and is a son of 2014 Victoria Derby winner Preferment.

Cumani has fond memories of the Derby winner.

“I worked with Preferment when I worked at Chris Waller’s,” Cumani said.

“I really liked the horse, and this horse has a similar character and strength, but you always worry when you get a horse this big.

“Early in his three-year-old career he never did anything special, but what he was able to do, despite his size was give me hope that he might be able to something like this today.”

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