Dinozzo wins Po Yan Handicap, stakes claim for Hong Kong Derby

Dinozzo wins class 2 handicap
Dinozzo salutes for Joao Moreira in the Class 2 Po Yan Handicap at Sha Tin on Sunday. Picture: HKJC.

While all eyes were on the main event — the Hong Kong Classic Mile — a horse running in a class 2 event on Sunday has emerged as a HK Derby contender.

Dinozzo set tongues wagging with a convincing victory in the Po Yan Handicap, raced over 1800m at Sha Tin, with the John Size-trained horse recording the 12th fastest time over the distance in the last 10 years.

Jockey Joao Moreira was full of praise for Dinozzo, despite not having everything his own way. Pushing forward early, with the race run at a sharp tempo, the Lilbourne Lad gelding was able to run on in the straight, grinding out a length and a quarter victory.

“He’s definitely a horse for the Derby if that’s the way John wants to go,” Moreira said.

“His class is there, it’s proven by that race today because he was exposed wide – I know he had a light weight but he was exposed wide without cover.

“To me, he’s still on the green side but he’s better than he was last race. When we crossed the line he kept running another furlong, a furlong and a half, maybe. That’s a good thing. He just kept finding for me today, each furlong he found a little bit more.”

Dinozzo has notched two wins and three places from five Hong Kong starts. The import won his sole start in Ireland, a 1600m Navan maiden in October, 2015, when under the watch of Ger Lyons.

Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (25 January). The nine-race card starts at 6.45pm.

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