Steve Collins concedes he might never see the best of classy Group 2 Ballarat Volkswagen Cup finalist Dyna Hunter as a result of a shoulder injury suffered at just his second start back in January.
But while that might be the case, Dyna Hunter has thus far assembled the imposing strike rate of 15 wins from his 31 starts, including a fantastic record at Ballarat, where he’s been victorious in five of his six appearances.
“Dyna Hunter goes well at all the one-turn tracks. He loves them,” said Steve Collins.
“He hurt his shoulder as a pup in a maiden final at Warrnambool and I think the big one-turn tracks place less stress on his body. It’s a shame because he could have been a very good two-turn dog as well.
“It would be nice for the dog if he could win the Ballarat Cup because I always thought he had the ability to win a good race.”
Dyna Hunter had a less than ideal build-up for the $47,000 to-the-winner Ballarat Cup, having been scratched from the Geelong Cup Final in late October with a toe injury that also severely hampered his preparation for the Melbourne Cup.
There was more drama for Pearcedale-based Collins en route to last weekend’s Ballarat heats after an untimely car breakdown came perilously close to curtailing Dyna Hunter’s assault.
“He was very impressive in his heat, especially considering he was stuck in the car for half an hour on the way there,” Collins quipped.
“The car blew a motor and we had to send another car to pick him up. He only made it to the track about 15 minutes before kennelling so I was just rapt he got there!”
Dyna Hunter is a $7 chance in TAB’s Ballarat Cup market and Collins isn’t overly concerned about drawing box six, believing the key to his chances of a breakthrough Group victory is crossing pacey rivals Speed Star (box 4) and Fully Loaded (box 5).
“I actually think he likes running in the middle of the track because it helps him get around the corners with his shoulder problem,” Collins explained.
“I do rate him a chance, providing he can get around the five and the four. As long as he doesn’t get caught three-wide I think he can get them in the run home.”