Dwayne Dunn drops anchor for three-way Melbourne jockeys’ premiership fight   Leave a comment

Dwayne Dunn drops anchor for three-way Melbourne jockeys’ premiership fight

Dwayne Dunn (centre) has two leading chances on Wednesday — Iceflow ($5.50) in the first

Dwayne Dunn (centre) has two leading chances on Wednesday — Iceflow ($5.50) in the first and Blendwell ($4.80) in race six. Picture: Getty Images

THE big chill biting at Dwayne Dunn’s face at Moonee Valley on Wednesday will be a slap-like reminder of the comfort he has sacrificed to dig in for the title fight.

With five city race meetings left, he is engaged in an epic three-way arm-wrestle with Craig Williams and Damien Oliver for the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.

Dunn describes it as being “in the trenches”.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn. Picture: Derrick den Hollander

Jockey Dwayne Dunn. Picture: Derrick den Hollander

Normally, he would be in a tinny, relaxing under the Darwin sun and fishing for barramundi in a tranquil, mangrove-lined estuary.

Normally, he would be in relaxation mode, as far away as possible from the winter drudge and recharging his batteries for the spring.

But these are not normal times. Dunn, 42, has never lifted the jockeys’ title and might never be so close again. Usually at this time of year, the premiership race has been won.

That is why Dunn found himself sitting in the car on Sunday, making a rare seven-hour round trip to icy Warrnambool, lest his rivals would steal a break.

“It was a great drawcard for Warrnambool to have the three of us there,” Dunn said.

“But as Craig mentioned to us, maybe we should get our act together earlier in the season so that we could be on holidays by now. I usually try to get up to Darwin for a week or two.”

Dunn rode one winner at Warrnambool, a city-class meeting, lifting his season tally to 52. He trails Williams by one and is one ahead of Oliver after both his rivals failed to salute. For them, it must have been a long drive home.

On Saturday, the battle resumes. The jockeys and managers having worked overtime to secure rides because, with the rail out 7m, the Valley fields have been restricted to 10 runners.

“It has made it difficult for the three of us,” Dunn said. “But the premiership is there to be won … whoever can break away now will be hard to wind back in, that’s for sure.”

As an added degree of difficulty, Dunn will be riding against his son.

“Dylan’s got a couple in, so yeah, I don’t need him beating me, put it that way,” he said.

As the title fight goes down to the wire, Dunn knows every ride carries extra scrutiny and every win extra weight. It is a factor he is trying to play down.

“I think sometimes the harder you try, the less things happen for you,’’ he said.

Dwayne Dunn pilots Mawahibb to victory at Moonee Valley last month. Picture: Getty Images

Dwayne Dunn pilots Mawahibb to victory at Moonee Valley last month. Picture: Getty Images

“Sometimes you’ve just got to let it happen naturally and what will be, will be.”

While the former South Australian said avoiding suspension would be crucial to the trio’s chances, he has made a point of sticking to routine — resting on Mondays and Tuesdays and going harder later in the week.

“I’ve just been in the trenches working, trying to get the results and keep my confidence up,” Dunn said.

Dunn has two leading chances on Wednesday — Iceflow ($5.50) in the first and Blendwell ($4.80) in race six — although he rates last-race emergency Sanzio ($5) a winning hope if the gelding can gain a start.

The last time he rode at the Valley he notched a treble. A repeat on Wednesday would put him another step closer to securing a title he is desperate to have on his CV.

“You can’t take it down and sell at Cash Converters, but it is something you can put on the mantelpiece and reflect back on later in life,” Dunn said.

“If I could win this premiership, it would be something great for my personal achievements, that’s for sure.”

Dwayne Dunn guides Pilly's Wish to victory at Caulfield. Picture: Getty Images

Dwayne Dunn guides Pilly’s Wish to victory at Caulfield. Picture: Getty Images

MELBOURNE JOCKEYS PREMIERSHIP

Before and after last Saturday’s meeting at Flemington

CRAIG WILLIAMS (50-53 wins) $2.75 – $2.50 (as short as $2.35 after completing his treble)

DAMIEN OLIVER (49-51 wins) $2.90 – $2.80 (as much as $3.20 before the first leg of his double)

DWAYNE DUNN (stayed on 52 wins) $2.75 – $3

Following the acceptances for Wednesday’s Moonee Valley meeting

Dwayne DUNN $3 – $2.65

Craig WILLIAMS $2.50 – $2.80

Damien OLIVER $2.80

DWAYNE DUNN’S RIDES (TAB FIXED ODDS PRICES)

Race 1: Iceflow $5.50

Race 2: Burgundy Lass $7.50

Race 4: Big Shoes $31

Race 5: Unassailed (Em) $5

Race 6: Blendwell $4.80

Race 7: The Conqueror $8

Race 9: Sanzio (Em) $5

CRAIG WILLIAMS’ RIDES

Race 1: Dynasty Queen $8

Race 2: Total Discretion $5

Race 3: Robbie’s Star $11

Race 4: Roll The Ignition $5

Race 5: Propelled $3.80 equal favourite

Miss Chaparral (Em) $14

Race 8: She’s Ellie $12

Race 9: Mr Walker $5

DAMIEN OLIVER’S RIDES

Race 1: Petits Filous $4.20

Race 2: Hattori Hanzo $7.50

Race 4: Courtside $4.40

Race 5: Chasing Liberty $21

Race 7: Avenue Of Glory $10

Race 8: A Private Party $4.40 favourite

Race 9: Caprese $10

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Posted July 15, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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