Dwayne Dunn released from hospital after fractured C6 vertebrae
Dunn was taken to hospital on Saturday afternoon after a dramatic start to a 1600-metre handicap at The Valley with Dunn on board the Richard Laming-trained Shot Of Irish ($3.60) who was the main market rival of Junipal ($2.15 favourite) and expected to lead in the $125,000 Powerflo Solutions Handicap (1600m).
The six-year-old gelding lost his chance at the start, bounding in the air when the gates opened, which resulted in Dunn’s head slamming into the crossbar of the barrier stalls.
The contact was significant enough for Dunn to lose the cloth part of his helmet. Shot Of Irish lost at least 15 lengths in the incident but was not tested by Dunn throughout the race, crossing the line last in the eight-horse field, beaten 47 lengths.
Dunn, who was visibly in discomfort post-race, received attention from on-course medics before heading to the Royal Melbourne hospital for scans.
Those scans revealed a fracture to the C6 in his neck with doctors initialing predicting Dunn would need surgery to stabilise it.
Dunn was replaced on his three remaining rides in Stakes races over the nine-race card as he was transported to Royal Melbourne Hospital for precautionary scans on his neck.
Ben Melham was confirmed as his replacement for Brooklyn Hustle in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes.
The incident continued a horror run for Laming, who last Sunday at Sale had Excelman disqualified for weighing in light after crossing the line first.
Junipal made the most of Shot Of Irish’s misfortune to score by 1.25 lengths ahead of Odeon ($8).