MORE than 48 hours after May’s Dream won the prestigious Group 1 Schweppes Australasian Oaks at Morphettville, the owners of the star filly assembled for another celebration at Horsham’s White Hart Hotel.
The filly is owned by Lorraine Dunn, her three daughters Celeste Patterson, Melissa Gannon and Simone Clulow, the ‘White Hart Crew’ syndicate and Jason Merlo.
Worrall Dunn, who bred and owned May’s Dream, died last year, aged 78.
Mrs Patterson said her father would have been barracking for the three-year-old daughter of New Approach in the straight.
“He’d be up there pumping – it’s all his hard work,” she said.
She said strapper Denita Bowman had a one per cent share as part of the syndicate at Mr Dunn’s request.
“She’s been around the stables since she was young so she grew up with Dad,” Mrs Patterson said.
“He said ‘if I’ve got Denita on the horse, I know it’ll be right’.”
Part-owner Greg Walcott said Mr Dunn’s hard work breeding the filly had paid off.
“We’re the beneficiaries of what he planned,” he said.
“We’re the beneficiaries of what he planned.''
Mrs Dunn said the connections celebrated in Adelaide on Saturday night.
“It was all good and our trainer and jockey were both there, which was good – we had to look after both of them,” she said.
Emotions ran high not only for the Dunn family, but also for the family of winning jockey Brad Rawiller, whose brother Nash also rode a Group 1 winner in Sydney within 10 minutes of the Oaks.
“I know it was Brad Rawiller’s first group win for Darren Weir and that was surprising because he does a lot of riding for Darren,” Mrs Dunn said.
“He was pretty happy because his uncle had died and his brother rode a winner in Sydney so he did dedicate it to his uncle Stu.”
Darren Weir had his first Group 1 success with May’s Dream’s dam She’s Archie in the 2002 South Australian Oaks – now known as the SA Fillies Classic.
She’s Archie – also owned and bred by Mr Dunn – finished second in the 2003 Melbourne Cup behind champion mare Makybe Diva.
Long-time friend of the Dunns and White Hart Hotel licensee Frank Giampaolo said it was his greatest win in his years of owning thoroughbreds.
Merlo was part of the entourage that crossed the border and delighted in reliving the final stages of the race.
“It’s come around the corner and I’ve gone ‘oh, it’s squashed out here – it can’t get a run’,” he said.
“All of a sudden he’s made a run out of nothing and stopped its momentum a bit and then kept going and I’ve said ‘that’s unbelievable’.
“Our jaws dropped and then when it came through and hit the post – we were up in the air.”
Mr Merlo said the owners were happy to take the $4 odds offered by on-course bookmakers on Saturday.
“We had a fair few dollars on,” he said.
May’s Dream started as a $3.20 fixed-odds favourite.
Mrs Patterson said the horse was likely to go to the paddock for a spell before returning as a four-year-old to tackle the spring carnival.