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Wins not too hard for Dunn
1st Aug 2012
Sydney Morning Herald - Andrew Eddy - Wednesday, 1 August 2012
IN MANY ways, the 2011-12 Victorian racing season, which officially ended yesterday, was business as usual. Peter Moody and his jockey Luke Nolen won their third respective titles while Craig Newitt continued to rack up enormous figures in races all around the state.
But lost in the momentary intrigue of whether Nolen would hold out Newitt for the metropolitan title was the performance of the third-placed rider, Dwayne Dunn.
Enjoying his best season since making Melbourne his home some years ago, Dunn finished with 54 winners, just 20 shy of Nolen's final figure.
The break-out season for the 39-year-old was made all the more memorable by his connection with one of the most exciting young horses in Australia, Black Caviar's younger half-brother All Too Hard (pictured with Dunn aboard). Bound for the Caulfield Guineas and who knows beyond that, All Too Hard could take Dunn on the ride of a lifetime.
''There's no doubt that potentially he has what it takes to make it all the way to the top, and I'd be happy to go anywhere to ride him,'' Dunn said yesterday.
Dunn partnered All Too Hard to three wins in Melbourne and Sydney during the autumn before he was beaten into second place by Pierro in the Sires' Produce Stakes at Randwick. He is expected to begin his campaign in Sydney and be aimed at September's Group 1 Golden Rose before heading to the Caulfield Guineas.
Last season, Dunn finished with 35 Melbourne winners but soon identified what he was doing wrong. ''I was riding plenty of Saturday winners but not so well at the Wednesday city meetings,'' he said. ''I've changed that around this year and I'm going much better midweek as well.''
Dunn, who lives in Mornington but does the bulk of his trackwork duties at Flemington, looks towards the spring with relish.
''Things are going great and I'm really pleased with the support I've received,'' he said.
Another mover up the rankings for winners in Victoria was the hard-working Craig Robertson, with the jockey's 84 season winners placing him eighth overall - up from 13th with 65.5 winners last season.
All but three of his winners this season were on country tracks, but with 908 rides for the season, only Craig Newitt (1190) and Dean Yendall (1037) took more rides.