Fresh from success on the international stage, leading apprentice Dylan Dunn has brought his winning form home to Melbourne.
Last season’s champion junior rider in Melbourne, Dunn won the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship Final in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
He returned to Melbourne racing on Wednesday to steer the Colin Little-trained Domino Vitale to victory in the M & D Dillon Contructions Handicap (1600m).
Domino Vitale ($26) scored by 1-1/4 lengths over Sweet Melody with Maternal a neck away third.
“What a great experience to do that (in Abu Dhabi) and then come back here and kick off with a winner when I’ve just got down to my 1-1/2 kilo claim,” Dunn said.
Wednesday was the first day the 21-year-old rode with his reduced claim.
Dunn said winning in Abu Dhabi was a great experience.
“It was one of those things you dream about,” he said.
“To get to represent your country is one thing, but to actually come out a champion is another. I learned so much and met a lot of good connections and I think that can only improve my riding.
“Even coming back here today in that race, I tried not to panic when I was caught deep.”
Dunn wasn’t the only apprentice in the winner’s circle at Sandown with Ben Allen riding a double while Jye McNeil and Ben Thompson each rode a winner.
Allen’s double came aboard Darren Weir-trained runners Big Hammer and Royal Ace and took his season tally to 12 city wins in Melbourne to be fifth in the jockeys’ premiership.
“It’s good when you get good support from Darren Weir,” Allen said.
“When you’re on his horses you always know they’re going to be rock-hard fit and ready to win.”
Big Hammer made it three-straight, coming into the Thoroughbred Club Handicap (2400m) off wins at Cranbourne and Hamilton at his past two starts.
Three-year-old colt Royal Ace remained unbeaten from two starts as he got home by a long neck in the Mypunter.com Handicap (1300m) in his city debut.
Three riders were suspended for careless riding at the meeting with Luke Nolen copping an eight meeting ban while Regan Bayliss and Adam McCabe were suspended for 10 meetings.