Dwayne Dunn Careless Riding Conviction Carries 18-Metting Suspension
Despite nearly decimating an entire field and copping an 18-meeting suspension for what the stewards deemed, in the words of head steward Robert Cram, “I can advise the stewards did discuss a charge of reckless riding. But due to the racing manner of the horse, and your attempt to straighten the mount as soon as you did, we deemed it to be in the high range of careless riding,” Dwayne Dunn will be eligible to return on August 3.
Dunn, a veteran of racing around the world, still guided his mount Windbern to the win in the 2000 m Handicap at Caulfield on National Jockeys Trust Day, ironically run to benefit injured jockeys.
At least four of the other horses in the field of 15 were impacted when Windbern suddenly shifted to the outside, but fortunately, none were hurt by what could have been a catastrophic crash.
There was no protest over the outcome, which is somewhat surprising, and Dunn himself reported thinking immediately that he would face consequences for the incident.
Dunn is considered one of the safest hands in the game and his immediate acceptance of the responsibility for the near disaster may have figured in his relatively light penalty, which easily could have been declared reckless, rather than careless, riding.
In several hearings to consider the incident, the facts that Dunn did not try to make excuses and that he obviously tried mightily to straighten his horse, led stewards to go lightly, despite their characterisation of the event as “A fairly graphic and unfortunate incident.”
Dunn has also the strength of his safety record of only two suspensions over the past 12 months in his favour.
It was Dunn’s decision to start his penalty straight off, so he will not miss anything of import and will be back in action by August, when the important races of the 2017 – 2018 Australian thoroughbred racing season jump.