Driving freak Dexter Dunn has three glaring omissions from his New Zealand trophy cabinet - he is hoping by Saturday that is down to two.

Dunn's emergence in the harness racing world has been the most remarkable in the history of the sport in Australasia.

Just 10 years ago he was the skinny son of trainer Robert Dunn who had driven seven winners in his first season in the sulky.

In the nine seasons since, he has won the national premiership every year and is closing in on becoming only the fifth New Zealand reinsman to drive 2000 domestic winners, as he sits on 1942 career wins.


Add to that a hugely successful Australian career including Miracle Mile, Victoria and Hunter Cups and Dunn is nearing $25 million in career stakes, with every record in the book his to own one day.

The icing on the cake: he won the World Drivers' Championship in Australia two years ago. And while they are a bit of a novelty, he won it with embarrassing domination.

But as special as Dunn is, being a great driver alone isn't enough to secure you wins in the domestic big four - the New Zealand and Auckland Cups of pacing and the Dominion and Rowe Cups of trotting.

For all the glamour of derbies (Dunn added the Northern classic last month) the big four are still our hardest races to win and Dunn has a sole Auckland Cup on Christen Me to his credit, with placings in the other three.

"Those big races are hard to win because a lot of those drivers stick with those horses for years," said Dunn.

"And they are hard to get on. Especially with the trotters."

Dunn believes Bordeaux can change that in tomorrow's Rowe Cup, the $150,000 highlight of a stacked Alexandra Park premier meeting.

He was a gigantic sixth in the Anzac Cup last Friday after sitting three wide for the last 1400m in his first start in four months.

"Philip [Iggo, trainer] had a few problems with him which meant he hasn't been able to get the racing into him," explains Dunn.

"He went all the way to Invercargill for a race but was tied up badly when he got there and had to be scratched.

"And then he had problems with greasy heal so to come out and go as big as he did last week without any lead up races tells me he can win this Friday.

"Obviously it won't be easy and Habibti Ivy looks like she has taken the next step and there are some tough trotters in there but he gets his chance with no Monbet or Speeding Spur around."

Bordeaux free-rolling in front set up Monbet's national record Dominion win last November and Dunn says he will look to go forward from his front line draw tomorrow and make those back in the field work - the ideal Alexandra Park premier night recipe.

The TAB bookies have opened Bordeaux, who was second to Quite A Moment in the group one National Trot on the track in December, as the $6 second favourite behind $4.20 top elect Habibti Ivy.

But if the $6 sounds short, it is a windfall compared with Lazarus, who has opened at what must surely be a New Zealand group one record lowest quote, a $1.02 favourite for tomorrow's Messenger Pace.

After drawing the ace, he looks certain to lead throughout in his final race of the season.

Enghien is long odds on to win the Trotting Derby but the group one juvenile fillies pace has been evened up by unbeaten favourite Elle Mac drawing the second line.

Fantastic Friday

Alexandra Park's group one races tomorrow night:

●$150,000 Canam Rowe Cup (open trotters).

●$100,000 Dawson Harford Messenger Pace (4-y-o pacers).

●$150,000 Magness Benrow Sires' Final (2-y-o pacing fillies).

●$80,000 Breckon Farms Derby (3-y-o trotters).