Dwayne is riding the colt for Amanda, who bred the three-year-old race favourite, and she is also a part owner having her first ever runner in a Group 1.
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They wanted barrier four or six for the 1600m race, and thought they were on track.
But smiles quickly disappeared when, after some slight deliberation with race officials, including chief steward Terry Bailey, the six became a nine.
There was no line underneath the number, as there was under the six which was drawn later by connections of Gold Standard.
Amanda was still stewing some 40 minutes later as she exited the Committee Room at Caulfield, and the market reacted with Royal Symphony easing out to $4 from $3.80 before the draw.
Amanda Dunn, wife of jockey Dwayne, plucks a barrier for Royal Symphony. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
But Dwayne remained confident their “surprise packet” was still the horse that won his first four starts, by a combined 11.5 lengths, before finishing fourth in the Guineas Prelude earlier this month.
“She (Amanda) wanted to get barrier four or barrier six, and when she pulled that she thought she had pulled a plum,” he said.
“But barriers one and two look like they will push up and do the leading, then we might be able to get across a couple. Looks like not a bad barrier for us.
“He’s been a little bit of a niggler and hasn’t shown that gate speed. We’ve put a set of winkers on him, he had a jump out at Flemington last Thursday and went quite sharp.
“I’m hoping to see a better horse early in the race and he probably ran the fastest last 400 of his life last start and he was beaten. He hasn’t done too much wrong and we are looking forward to Saturday.”
If anything, Dunn said the last start loss could prove a blessing, with the pressure somewhat removed, and the horse better able to go about his business with more on offer than just the $1.2 million first prize.
Dwayne Dunn says wife Amanda “thought she had pulled a plum.” Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Royal Symphony was beaten last start. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
The Guineas remains a stallion making race and Dunn, who has won it twice including last year on Divine Prophet and in 2012 on All Too Hard, who now stands for $44,000 at stud, knows what’s at stake.
“There is pressure but I think it was more a little bit of a plus that he got beaten,” Dunn said.
“We can treat him like a horse now, he can stop being a rock star and having photos taken and cameras being in his face.
“We can really see what we’ve got. This is a stallion making race, there’s nowhere to hide, you have to present and run well.”
And while not sure Royal Symphony was up to the standard of four-time Group 1 winner All Too Hard just yet, he knows he has a good horse, and what it would mean to his wife to win.
“It’s very exciting from the other side of the fence and it’s great to be a part of the ride the other owners are having too,” he said.
“He’s been a bit of a surprise packet for us but every time we have put him up to the plate he steps up and takes good progression forward.
“And if we can travel the bend and see the normal kick that we see, he’s going to be hard to beat.”
Amanda Dunn watches the barrier draw unfold. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
2017 CAULFIELD GUINEAS:
1 THE MISSION barrier 11 Paul Perry Beau Mertens (a) 56.5kg $41
2 SUMMER PASSAGE 17 Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott Glen Boss 56.5kg $11
3 AZAZEL 4 Tony McEvoy Luke Currie 56.5kg $51
4 SIRCCONI 13 Peter Morgan Linda Meech 56.5kg $41
5 SHOWTIME 1 M, W & J Hawkes Damien Oliver 56.5kg $17
6 ROYAL SYMPHONY 9 Tony McEvoy Dwayne Dunn 56.5kg $4
7 GOLD STANDARD 6 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Stephen Baster 56.5kg $12
8 PERAST 2 Paul Perry Ben Melham 56.5kg $10
9 SANCTIONED 16 James Cummings Glyn Schofield 56.5kg $31
10 AL PASSEM 12 Ken Keys Ben Thompson (a) 56.5kg $81
11 KEMENTARI 10 James Cummings Damian Lane 56.5kg $5.50
12 ECLAIR SUNSHINE 14 Phillip Stokes Luke Nolen 56.5kg $31
13 SALSAMOR 8 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Brad Rawiller 56.5kg $21
14 LEVENDI 7 Peter Gelagotis Anthony Darmanin 56.5kg $17
15 HOLY SNOW 15 Mick Price Michael Dee 56.5kg $26
16 CATCHY 3 D & B Hayes & T Dabernig Mark Zahra 54.5kg $5
17e MIGHTY BOSS 5 Mick Price Michael Walker 56.5kg $61