Multiple Group One-winning jockey Dwayne Dunn has snapped a frustrating two-month run of city outs in Melbourne with victory aboard Shamal Wind in the WJ Adams Stakes at Sandown.
Dunn posted his first Melbourne city winner since November 19 as Shamal Wind returned from a spell in convincing fashion on Monday.
The Robert Smerdon-trained Shamal Wind ($2.70) made it back-to-back wins in the Listed 1000m race after taking out the same event first-up last year when it was staged at Caulfield.
When he guided Magnapal to victory in November at Sandown, Dunn held a four-win lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership but he has slipped to third on the standings, two wins behind leader Craig Williams.
“You don’t lose your ability, you just lose your confidence,” Dunn said.
“Things just haven’t been happening for me. I don’t feel like I’m riding them badly. They just haven’t been winning. And if I’d turned my seconds into wins I’d be a long way in front.”
Dunn said he just had to keep a positive mindset and trusted things would turn around.
“It should start now,” he said.
Shamal Wind was able to settle closer to the lead than she normally does in the small field of six runners and when Dunn asked her for an effort in the straight, the five-year-old sprinted clear of her rivals to notch her fifth first-up win from six attempts.
She defeated Vatican ($8.50) by 2-1/4 lengths with multiple Group One winner Moment Of Change ($6.50), who had 61.5kg, another length away third.
Favourite The Quarterback ($2.60) failed to produce the same finishing sprint he has in his most recent starts, finishing last after settling back in the field.
“He felt flat,” jockey Matthew Allen said of The Quarterback.
Smerdon’s assistant Stuart Webb said they had wanted to see how Shamal Wind performed on Monday before deciding where to head next.
An Oakleigh Plate start is a possibility.