Dunn confirms early return to Australia

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 12:00am

Australian jockey Dwayne Dunn has confirmed he will not ride out the season but has not ruled out a return to Hong Kong.

Dunn said yesterday he had not applied for an extension of his contract, which will be completed on March 21, and he will not be among the club jockeys named for the final portion of the season after next week's Licensing Committee meeting.

'I came here for three months and I've been here three years,' he said. 'It's probably time to have a break and think about what I've learned here and appreciate the time I have had.

'I love the place and the racing and Hong Kong has been good to me, but it has been harder this season with my family back in Australia for all but the six weeks or so around Christmas, and my family has to come first.'

The winner of 87 races and $77.3 million in stake money, Dunn's highlight was winning the Group One Chairman's Sprint on Charming City for David Hayes.

But he added that his absence from March to June was not necessarily closing the door on his Hong Kong career.

'I felt that if I left now, I could have a good break with my family. If we felt then that leaving Hong Kong was a mistake, I could still reapply for next season and hope to be licensed,' he said. 'If I rode out the full season, that course of action wouldn't be open to me.'

Dunn, 30, will return to his home city of Adelaide for important racing during Easter and the Group One carnival in May, but said he had made no decisions on where he might base himself if he does go back permanently.