Herald Sun

Dunn keen for spring

- DANNY RUS­SELL danny.rus­sell@news.com.au

A RE­SILIENT Dwayne Dunn has found a pos­i­tive in the ill­timed 11-meet­ing sus­pen­sion that will al­most cer­tainly cost him the Mel­bourne jock­eys’ premier­ship — star sprinter Chau­tauqua.

Dunn said he would com­pete at Flem­ing­ton to­mor­row and then use the en­forced lay off to rest his ail­ing hip and neck in prepa­ra­tion for the se­ri­ous Group 1 spring races.

“I’ve been car­ry­ing a cou­ple of in­juries and I should have prob­a­bly stopped a bit ear­lier, so I’ll have a good break now and re­ally fo­cus on the spring,” Dunn said of his de­ci­sion not to ap­peal against his care­less rid­ing penalty.

“It looks ex­cit­ing with some se­ri­ous horses com­ing through the yard.”

One of those se­ri­ous horses is Team Hawkes sprinter Chau­tauqua, which the 42year-old has al­ready part­nered to two Group 2 wins.

“I’m not down and out with Chau­tauqua yet. There’s still an op­por­tu­nity to ride him again,” Dunn said.

He is also eye­ing the Hawkes’ ris­ing star Lake Geneva, who ran third in the Golden Slip­per be­hind Van­cou­ver.

Dunn’s de­ci­sion to look for­ward comes af­ter the for­mer South Aus­tralian rode a tre­ble at Moonee Val­ley on Wednes-

I should have prob­a­bly stopped a bit ear­lier, so I’ll have a good break now DWAYNE DUNN

day to take his metropoli­tan sea­son tally to 55 win­ners, one ahead of Craig Wil­liams and three clear of Damien Oliver.

But his ti­tle hopes were all but wiped out when he was found guilty of care­less rid­ing.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing if I can ride two or three on Satur­day and put them un­der pres­sure for the last three meet­ings,” he said. “But ei­ther way, it’s been a good ride.”

Dunn’s was the 309th care­less rid­ing sus­pen­sion this sea­son. In the past five years the av­er­age has been 212.

Chief stew­ard Terry Bai­ley said its was con­cern­ing the mes­sage was not get­ting through and stew­ards would con­sider tougher penal­ties.

Vic­to­rian Jock­eys’ As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Des O’Keeffe said the in­crease in sus­pen­sions was down to stew­ards low­er­ing the bar.

“What used to be a free-kick and a warn­ing is now a lowlevel sus­pen­sion. What used to be a low-level sus­pen­sion is now in the medium range,” he said.

O’Keeffe said another fac­tor was the pres­sure jock­eys were un­der to main­tain rides.

He said the as­so­ci­a­tion had no is­sue with the tougher ap­proach, and that ag­grieved riders had the right of ap­peal.

In the past year, half of the 22 jock­eys who went to the Rac­ing Ap­peals and Dis­ci­plinary Board had their penal­ties var­ied.

 ??  ?? Dwayne Dunn com­pletes his Moonee Val­ley tre­ble aboard Lazyaxl on Wed­nes­day. Pic­ture: WAYNE LUDBEY
Dwayne Dunn com­pletes his Moonee Val­ley tre­ble aboard Lazyaxl on Wed­nes­day. Pic­ture: WAYNE LUDBEY

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