Dunn and Williams in title shoot-out

The race for the Melbourne jockeys premiership is now down to two.

Damien Oliver has conceded he can’t win as he trails Dwayne Dunn by seven with 13 meetings of the season remaining.

Oliver rode his first metropolitan winner aboard Rising Hope at Mornington on Monday since his suspension at the Warrnambool three-day carnival on an alcohol related breath test.

The 10-time premiership winner now begins a careless riding suspension before returning for the Eagle Farm meeting on June 25 featuring the Tatt’s Tiara, the final Group One race of the season.

But Oliver’s season may well be over after he hurt his foot on the barriers aboard Rose Dancer as the field jumped in Monday’s Showtime Attractions Cup.

Oliver will have X-rays on Tuesday morning to see if he has a broken toe.

After his win on Rising Hope in the Frankston RSL Handicap, Oliver said he was taking a break after the Eagle Farm meeting for a holiday with his family.

“I stayed and chased the title last year so I thought I’d better be fair to the family, and myself too, and take the kids on a holiday,” Oliver said.

Dunn, chasing his first premiership, holds a two-win lead over Craig Williams after they each rode a winner on Monday’s program.


It took until the final race for Dunn to ride his winner when he guided Kaye Club to victory in the BMK Handicap.

“It’s all about riding well and riding winners,” Dunn said.

After winning the Group One Stradbroke Handicap aboard Under The Louvre on Saturday, Dunn said he feared Williams had a better book of rides on Monday.

“He got a winner on Saturday and I probably gave a couple away and that’s a big turn around on numbers,” Dunn said.

“But I’ve still got a job to do and I pulled the right rein in going to Brisbane.”

Williams, who scored aboard Kinshachi in the Total Animal Supplies Handicap, said he planned to ride in Melbourne until season’s end.

“I’ve spoken to my manager Mark Guest and for six weeks we’re going to work very hard for the premiership unless we can get a ride on one of the favourites in the Group One race,” he said.

Williams conceded it would be a great result for Dunn and his son Dylan, who leads the apprentices’ race, to win titles in the same year.

“To win the main and the junior titles in one of the toughest states would be impressive, but I’m hoping that’s not the case,” Williams said.

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