What does 2024 hold for Dunkel?

Big things expected of Dunkel in 2024 and beyond.

Mapping out a full season for any horse is tricky and Patrick Payne is attempting to give Dunkel the best possible 2024

News Insights

  • 4-year-old Dunkel is yet to race in 2024.
  • Patrick Payne’s Kiwi flyer has won 7 of 10 career races.
  • Having been lightly raced, Dunkel expected to kick on in 2024.
  • 2024 Melbourne Cup is being touted as a potentially good fit for Dunkel.

Having picked up some excellent results in recent times and still at the tender age of 4, Dunkel has long been touted as one of the most exciting horses in Australia. 

A horse with tabs closely kept on it by punters and online betting sites alike, Patrick Payne is hoping for another big year from Dunkel in 2024. 

Winning any Group 1 contest always hold a horse in a certain esteem with Aussie bookmakers and Dunkel’s triumph in the South Australian Derby in 2023 remains its stand out result. 
Hailing from New Zealand and trained by the enigmatic Patrick Payne, Dunkel looks to have the hallmarks of being any type of horse that it truly wants to be. 
Now aged 4, connections are scheming to try and push Dunkel towards a shot at the Melbourne Cup in 2024, with plenty of excellent races in prospect in a busy year ahead. 
Dunkel’s Derby 

Whilst it perhaps doesn’t hold quite the same level of prestige as some New South Walian or Victorian races with online betting sites, the South Australian derby remains a very strong Group 1 contest. 
Dunkel’s superb win under Billy Egan at Morphettville in May 2023 was a real announcement to the Australian horse racing fraternity. 
Winning over 2500m, Dunkel showed a unique blend of speed and stamina in a high-quality encounter and Patrick Payne and connections were delighted to pick up the A$500,000 purse and the S.A. Derby trophy.  
Light on the legs 

Each trainer in Australia and worldwide varies in their approach as to how they manage their star horses and Patrick Payne is no different. 
Dunkel is a horse that tends to be carefully curated and selected for the best possible race it can find - a tactic that has yielded 7 wins from just 10 career starts. 
2024 promises to be a big year in that regard, for both horse and trainer, as Dunkel looks to put enough miles in the legs to mount a Melbourne Cup charge. 
Roy Higgins route 

Within the inner sanctum of Australian racing for punters, trainers and betting apps, scheming the best possible route to the big races is always a tricky one. 
Initially, Dunkel had been declared for the Adelaide Cup, a race that Patrick Payne has a particular affinity to and one that Dunkel would be expected to firmly challenge in. 
However, Dunkel has now been entered into the Roy Higgins Stakes in late March, a contest that not only carries a Melbourne Cup exemption but is also taking place at Flemington.  
Whether Dunkel can do the business in the Roy Higgins remains to be seen but it would appear that the Melbourne Cup is very much the aim for 2024. 

Speculation always mounts at the start of any year as to which horses could go well in the 12 months ahead and Dunkel is certainly a horse with a big future. 

The 4-year-old looks to be firmly in the shakeup for the Melbourne Cup in 2024 and its progress will be firmly tracked by punters and online betting sites alike.