Dunkel 1337

Pencarrow Graduate Dunkel (NZ) Stars at Flemington

Two weeks out from Karaka 2023, a remarkable performance by Dunkel (NZ) (Dundeel) at Flemington has provided a timely illustration of the quality on offer among Pencarrow Stud’s yearling drafts.

The highly talented three-year-old collected the third win of his four-start career in Saturday’s A$150,000 Stud and Stable Staff Awards Handicap (2000m), launching an extraordinary finishing burst with Harry Coffey in the saddle.

Dunkel was slow to leave the starting gates and dropped out near the back of the 10-horse field, and then he was blocked when Coffey was trying to mount his challenge early in the home straight.

Even when Dunkel found a way through, it looked like the gelding had too much ground to make up and too little time to do it. But Dunkel changed gears and sprinted impressively, sweeping past the front-running Soul Choice (Redoute’s Choice) and scoring by half a length.

“Even with his big weight (61kg), I knew he had a better turn of foot than most in the race, and if a slight gap came in the straight, I’d be able to take it,” Coffey said. “That’s what happened in the end.

“He got a little bump on the way through and lost a bit of momentum, but I didn’t fully put him under pressure. I just let him regain his confidence and stride, and he got the job done. It would have looked like a tough watch, but he was pretty soft in the last 50 metres.

“He’s a lovely horse – we’ve just got to get him doing things right. He’s obviously got very nice ability, and he’s a stayer that’s on the rise.”

Dunkel was bred by Pencarrow Thoroughbreds Ltd and was offered in Pencarrow’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2021, where Steven Ramsay bought him for $40,000. He returned to Karaka later that year for the Ready to Run Sale, where he was knocked down to Kevin Myers for $100,000.

Trained by Patrick Payne, Dunkel has now had four starts for three wins, a second placing and A$229,500 in stakes, with races like the Group One Australian Derby (2400m), Group One South Australian Derby (2500m) and Group One Queensland Derby (2400m) now potential targets.

Dunkel is by Dundeel (NZ), whose glittering 19-start, 10-win career included six triumphs at Group One level. He has gone on to be an outstanding sire in Australia, with 231 winners from 381 runners to date including 19 individual stakes winners.

The dam of Dunkel is Kudamm (Cape Cross), who won four races in the Pencarrow colours and placed in the Listed South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).

Kudamm has a perfect record as a broodmare, with all of her five foals winning races. Garfunkel (NZ) (Excellent Art) won four races, while Remington (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and Mint Julep (NZ) (Darci Brahma) have collected five wins each. Marcolt (NZ) (Reliable Man) and Dunkel are both three-race winners.

Pencarrow Stud will offer 23 yearlings in Book 1 of Karaka 2023, which runs from 29 to 31 January.