Ex Hong Kong galloper lands betting coup at first Australian start
On the 1st of December 2023, the ex HK galloper Dynamic Spirit landed a betting coup at his first Australian start.
When markets first went up Dynamic Spirit was quoted at about 20/1, but constant support had hammered that quote into 4/1 at jump time. In this race he was first up after 317 days. He went up as an outsider because his Hong Kong form did not read well. He had raced there seven times for no placings and two 4th places. His last run in Hong Kong was over eight furlongs at Happy Valley on the 18th of January 2023, where he ran 9th in a field of 12. To get him ready for this race his new trainer, Chris Waller, gave him two jumpouts in Melbourne before moving him to Sydney and trialling him at Rosehill on the 6th of November 2023. In that trial he was ridden by topline jockey Nash Rawiller and led all the way to win without being extended. He must have impressed Rawiller, who elected to ride him in this race and he rode a confident race on him.
All of Dynamic Spirit’s runs in Hong Kong were in Class 3. At his first start there he was handicapped to carry the equivalent of 61 kg. Because of his poor form at his last start in Hong Kong that impost was dropped to the equivalent of 57.5 kg. The race that he won in Australia was a BM 72, and the Australian handicappers had made him topweight for that race with 61 kg. In other words, he was raised 3.5 kg on his last Hong Kong run, which is indicative that he is dropping sharply in class. It is consistent with the Australian handicappers treating a Class 3 in Hong Kong as about the same as a BM 80 in Australia.
This is a very interesting horse. Before going to Hong Kong he raced in Brazil under the name Orfeu Negro, which is Portuguese for Black Orpheus, the title of a 1959 movie. He raced there five times as a 2YO and once as a 3YO. Three of these runs were at G1 level for two wins and a 2nd place. At his only 3YO start he won a G1 over eight furlongs. It should now be mentioned that horseracing in Brazil is not a big deal. Although Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country it has half the number of horses that are in New Zealand. A G1 win in Brazil is not highly rated by Australian handicappers but in this 3YO race he won by 6.3 lengths from 11 other runners. It is no mean feat to win a G1 race anywhere in the world against a big field by such a margin.
A word of caution: all of his starts in Brazil were on rain affected ground. In contrast, when he went to Hong Kong he never struck a rain affected track. He was fortunate for his first Australian start because the track was rated slow, so he has still to prove himself on dry ground. On the other hand I, for one, would be keen to see him on a heavy track.