LATE Horsham racing identity Worrall Dunn was posthumously named Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria’s Small Breeder of the Year on Sunday night.
Dunn, who died in November last year aged 78, was primarily honoured for the success of his home-bred filly May’s Dream.
The daughter of New Approach and She’s Archie won the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks over 2000 metres at Morphetville, South Australia, in April.
She also enjoyed a successful Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign, finishing second in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas and Group 2 Wakeful Stakes.
She contested the $1 million Crown Oaks in November, but the 2500-metre distance proved too far at the end of her campaign.
The 2013-14 Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria awards were presented at the Victorian racing industry’s night of nights, the Scobie Breasley Medal, which was won by reigning Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver for a record seventh time.
Dunn’s wife Lorraine and daughter Celeste Patterson accepted the award on his behalf.
Mrs Dunn said the night was bittersweet.
“It was happy because we were thrilled with the award, but it was also a little sad,” she said.
“I had a bit of an idea he was going to win it, but I didn’t want to say it aloud, just in case.
“It was very special.”
Mrs Dunn said it was her husband’s first breeding award.
“I really do appreciate it,” she said.
“Worrall put a lot of work into breeding. He was always reading up on horses. He loved it.
“His mother was a Fisher and they were the leading trainers at Yaapeet for years.
“Worrall followed in her footsteps and May’s Dream is named after her.”
May’s Dream scored an eye-catching maiden victory at Swan Hill in July 2013.
After the race, Dunn told the Mail-Times his filly was special.
“She’s only a small girl, only a baby, but she’s done everything well,” he said.
“I hope things go well because things can go wrong.
“I’m an old man and I’m not very well, but this is my dream horse since She’s Archie.”
She’s Archie was Mr Dunn’s biggest success.
She was the first Group 1 winner for both Dunn and trainer Darren Weir, who also trains May’s Dream.
She’s Archie won the 2002 South Australian Oaks and was runner-up to Makybe Diva in the 2003 Melbourne Cup.
She is due to foal again next week.
“We’re still breeding for now,” Mrs Dunn said.
“Celeste is helping me with the horses – I tell her my plans and she tells me what she thinks and we work it out together.
“This one will be the daughter of Manhattan Rain and after that She’s Archie will go to Dawn Approach.”
Dawn Approach is from the first crop of foals sired by New Approach, which also sired May’s Dream.
Mrs Dunn said May’s Dream would resume in the spring.
“She’s been back in work for a while and trialled at St Arnaud on Friday last week,” she said.
“She should be back in late September.”
Mrs Dunn said the family was targeting the Group 1 weight-for-age Myer Classic on Derby Day.
“We’ve talked about some other options as well, but we’ll see how she goes,” she said.
“It’s pretty exciting.”