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Sunday Herald Sun - - Racing - RUS­SELL GOULD CAULFIELD

A CONTRITE and apolo­getic Dwayne Dunn copped his 18-meet­ing sus­pen­sion on the chin yes­ter­day af­ter a dis­as­ter was nar­rowly avoided in the fourth race at Caulfield.

On Na­tional Jockeys Trust Day, an oc­ca­sion on which fo­cus is placed on rais­ing funds for in­jured jockeys, Dunn nearly caused a raft of fresh ones when his mount Wind­bern shifted badly with about 200m to go in the 2000m race.

Four horses on Dunn’s out­side all felt the full ef­fect of the sharp move­ment, which the vet­eran hoop said was due to an “over­re­ac­tion” from his horse as he tried to get Wind­bern into clear run­ning room.

Wind­bern went on to win the race and, although there were no protests, Dunn knew he was in trou­ble im­me­di­ately.

It took three dif­fer­ent hear­ings in front of stew­ards af­ter the fourth, fifth and fi­nal race, dur­ing which as many as seven jockeys were asked to give ev­i­dence, be­fore stew­ards their de­ci­sion.

The fi­nal charge was of care­less rid­ing but act­ing chief stew­ard Rob Cram con­ceded more se­ri­ous charges were con­sid­ered given the po­ten­tial for more dam­age.

Dunn, well aware he and his col­leagues had en­joyed a lucky es­cape, pleaded guilty and told stew­ards there was no in­ten­tion to cause the in­ter­fer­ence. “The blame falls at my feet, no doubt,” he said.

“It all started from my horse — my horse caught a heel or over­re­acted abruptly.

“I had plenty of horse and came to I thought I could just ease out ... then she went hard right and I put her onto the boys on my out­side.

“There was no in­ten­tion to get the ex­treme move­ment that oc­curred.”

Dunn was one off the rails be­hind the two lead­ers when he went for clear space in the charge to the fin­ish­ing post.

He al­most took out the heels of Meat Traders, on his im­me­di­ate out­side, and also ca­reered into Tof­fatin and Savvy Dresser, who tailed off in the field.

The domino ef­fect also im­peded the run of Dan­dre on the e e x t r e me o u t s i d e . Stew­ards s la­belled itt “a fairly ly graphic and u n f o r t u n a t e in­ci­dent”, but took into ac­count Dunn’s guilty plea, his ef­forts to straighten his horse to avoid fur­ther dam­age and his record of just two sus­pen­sions in the past 12 months be­fore hand­ing out the penalty.

“I can ad­vise the stew­ards did dis­cuss a charge of reck­less rid­ing,” Cram said.

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“But d due to the rac­ing man­ner of the horse, and your at­tempt to straighten the mount as soon as you did, we deemed it to be in the high range of care­less rid­ing.”

Dunn, who opted to start his penalty im­me­di­ately, can re­turn to rid­ing on Au­gust 3. rus­sell.gould@news.com.au

Wind­bern and Dwayne Dunn ( sky blue, in­set be­low right) ca­reer into the path of ri­vals at Caulfield yes­ter­day. Pic­tures: AAP her­ald­sun.com.au

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