YEAR: 2006


Mainland Banner winning the Breeders Stakes
Between now and her next race, there will be some fine-tuning to Mainland Banner's training regime. After another hard blow following her latest win, at Addington last Friday night, trainer Robert Dunn intends to step it up.

He knew she was short of a hard run before winning the Caduceus Club of Canterbury Premier Mares' event over 1950m the previous week, but he was sure it would top her off nicely for the $100,000 PGG Wrightson Breeders' Stakes.

Without making a meal of it, Mainland Banner duly won, beating Imagine That by a length and a quarter and Nick Off Holme by nearly two. After being settled on the outer by Ricky May, Mainland Baner went forward at the 1250m, sat parked soon after and came away for a comfortable win by a margin that may have flattered her rivals.

"Ricky said she did not feel as sharp as she did at Cup time," said Dunn. "But she only did what she had to, and I felt she was coming away again over the last twenty metres. "She blew hard again. We've had a roundtable since, and we feel we have to increase her work a bit."

Dunn expects her to take it in her stride because she is so relaxed in training. "This is her greatest weapon, and as she matures she is getting stronger. This is the first time she has backed up with a race two weeks in a row. The other time was last May when she was very tired after the Oaks."

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWEEKLY 9Feb06

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