Horse racing rainer Matt Dunn and Keira at the Murwillumbah Race Track.
Horse racing rainer Matt Dunn and Keira at the Murwillumbah Race Track. Scott Powick

Dunn confident in high-powered qualifier assault

RACING: It's fair to say most people expect trainer Matt Dunn to win Sunday's $150,000 NRRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Grafton.

And the Murwillumbah trainer understands there's some pressure to convert what looks a strong team of up-and-coming horses into places in next month's final at Randwick.

>>>READ MORE: Your ULTIMATE guide to the Country Championships Qualifier

Dunn will have four runners but most attention, and pressure from within, is centred on exciting three-year-old Snitz.

"If you turn up with the team I have and you don't get one through, it's not ideal and I probably haven't done a very good job if I can't get one through,” Dunn said.

"The standout horse is probably Snitz, if there's one I need to get through it's him.

"He's drawn the right gate and got the right jockey, unless something goes horribly wrong through the race then he would beat most of these horses.”

Despite his apparent dominance in the Northern Rivers area, Dunn has only qualified one horse for the Country Championships Final in its three editions to date.

That was Perfect Dare, who won last year's Grafton heat by a big space but couldn't handle the wet track at Randwick. So Dunn knows you take nothing for granted.

He said Snitz, a winner of four of his eight starts, has been specifically set for the Championships as has Iggy The Moocher while Runway Ready and Cascata Rossa deserved their chance.

"Snitz was set for it pretty much from the time he came back into work,” Dunn said.

"We've got them in at the right time to land on that date second and third-up which I think is the right place to be peaking on the final day.”