Mandurah Gunn’s Winter Cup Mission

GREG Horne says there’s no reason his Mandurah specialist Naughty Gunn won’t bring her sensational form to Cannington on Saturday night.

Gerard Guthrie

4 June 2020

TRAINER Greg Horne says there’s no reason high-flying Mandurah specialist Naughty Gunn won’t bring her sensational form to Cannington in Saturday night’s heats of the Winter Cup (520m).

The winner of 16 from 36 overall, Naughty Gunn has overcome poor draws to win her last four starts at Mandurah, all over 490m, where she’s won 10 from 13 starts, including a career highlight victory in the Group 3 Mandurah Cup last October.

“She’s a nice little bitch and she’s very tenacious. She knows nothing but chase,” said Nambeelup-based Greg Horne.

“Her record should be a lot better than it is. She hasn’t had a lot of luck.

“She made the final of our Oaks and sat outside the leader and got run off the track. She also went to Adelaide for the Oaks and up to Brisbane for the Futurity but didn’t have much luck.

“Before she won the four straight she kept having problems with a stopper and split webbings. She just couldn’t get runs under her belt but we finally got her right and I’ve said to her owner (Jayson Gunning) that I think she’s back to her best.

“She can’t draw a box – at her last four wins at Mandurah she’s had two fives, a four and a six – but she’s also had six-dog fields and vacant boxes around her.”

Naughty Gunn’s Cannington record isn’t as impressive as her near-faultless Mandurah resume.

However the daughter of Magic Sprite and Miss Barcia has won six from 20 with nine minor placings over the 520m course, her last appearance being a close fourth to Tommy Shelby in the Group 3 Perth Cup Consolation on March 14.

Naughty Gunn will also tackle Tommy Shelby, a last start fifth in the Group 2 WA Derby, in the second of two Winter Cup heats, while she’ll also be up against last Saturday’s WA Oaks runner-up Mermaid Monelli and 2019 Oaks winner Grace Ali.

“I was hoping she might go back up to Cannington and snavvle the red but she’s got the four,” Horne said ruefully.

“But she does have slow beginners on either side so hopefully she might get a bit of room.

“I think she’s a definite winning chance but it’s a tough race. Mermaid Monelli is on her outside (6) but that might help to hold out Tommy Shelby (7). Rolo Monelli is off the inside and he ran a good race last Saturday.

“I’ve got no doubt that she can go faster than the 29.80s she ran at Cannington early doors. She’s capable of running 29.60s or 29.70s for sure with a bit of luck.

“There’s no reason she can’t go up there on Saturday and show everyone what she can do.

“I’ve had some nice dogs over 20 or 30 years and won a heap of small features but winning the Mandurah Cup last year was the biggest win I’ve had. I’ve had dogs like Galba Magic, which won 25 races, and Flying Typhoon, which won 22 races, but I’d have to say that Naughty Gunn is the best I’ve put a lead on.”

The opening Winter Cup heat will be headlined by Victorian visitor Catch The Thief, which is unbeaten in three starts at Cannington, highlighted by a brilliant 29.32s victory in the Group 2 WA Derby at his most recent appearance.