Six wins in two days is the confidence boost Dwayne Dunn has been looking for as he settles in for an enthralling battle for the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
A winning treble at Moonee Valley on Saturday in the absence of Damien Oliver and Craig Williams through Royal Ascot commitments, took Dunn to a one-win lead over the pair.
His treble came a day after he rode three winners at the provincial meeting at Pakenham.
Until Friday he had ridden just one winner in June.
“I’m just happy I’m back in a bit better form,” Dunn said.
“I haven’t been working as hard as what I normally do because my injury is still hanging around. I’ve just got to manage myself a bit better and that led to me having a couple of weeks where I didn’t do much.
“It was good to have a day like that at Pakenham to give me the confidence back.
“I was just riding once and twice a week and that’s probably not enough at this level to have you fully focused.”
Dunn was sidelined from December, 2013 to the following April with bulging discs in his neck.
He avoided surgery but said it was something he had to manage constantly.
“It’s something that doesn’t go away and will always be there. It’s just a matter of how bad it gets and how much it affects my riding,” he said.
Dunn has not won a Melbourne premiership, while Oliver has won nine and Williams four.
“I know it means a fair bit to Damien and Craig to win another one, so it’s probably one of those things you need to win to really appreciate what effects it has on your life,” he said.
The closeness of the premiership between three high-profile riders makes for an interesting final 11 metropolitan meetings of the season.
“I’m not usually this close, this close to home,” Dunn said.
“I’ll just enjoy it for what it is and if it happens it happens, and if it doesn’t I’ve had a serious crack at it and I’ll just enjoy the ride.”