Dwayne Dunn was a happy man walking into Caulfield this morning on Blue Diamond Day.
The gun rider, who has four Blue Diamond victories to his name, only returned to action on Wednesday at Sandown following a tough six months on the sidelines with a serious neck injury.
A win at Moonee Valley on Friday night aboard Cielo D’Oro stoked the fires, but his return is still a carefully measured work in progress at this time and it is no easy transition, both mentally and physically, as Dunn pointed out.
“I’m pretty happy to be here,” said Dunn on Racing.com. “It’s a big thrill. I didn’t expect to be back this early and to walk in today and to see the crowd … the hair stood up on the back of my neck.
“After my win last night, by the time I got home it still took a little while … I think it was about one o’clock … before I really switched off.
“It’s been a real roller-coaster ride. To leave Moonee Valley in the back of an ambulance last time and then to go back there and win was just outstanding.
“I struggled though. I nearly turned around and went home last night. I did six jump-outs at Flemington yesterday and my neck played up all day and I just wasn’t happy with what I was going in with … but I pushed through and the result speaks for itself.
“I would have been kicking myself. I probably would have not felt like turning up today if I didn’t turn up last night.
“We are just going to take some time. I’ve just got to ease my way into it.
‘The support I have got from the industry and my family has been unbelievable. It’s been a long journey over six months, and it is just great to be back.”
Dunn has the mount of Wolves in the Blue Diamond.