Motivado finished at the tail of the field at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, but co-trainer David Hayes is confident that the imported stayer can return to his best form in the 2014 Ballarat Cup this weekend.
Motivado was sent to the spelling paddock after he failed to finish the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 10 and he returned to the races with a credible seventh behind Bel Thor in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 19 before he finished at the tail of the field in the Secondbite Plate at Flemington on November 8.
Hayes believes that Motivado had plenty of excuses for his poor effort in the Secondbite Plate and he encouraged punters to include the 2014 Ballarat Cup outsider in their exotic bets for the Listed race on Saturday.
“He will be ridden cold and look for runs through the field,” Hayes said.
“He was pulled up basically last start, but he lost a shoe on the rock hard Flemington track and I would just forget he went around and look back to his Seymour Cup run.
“He is $40, so I would be putting him in your multiplies.”
Chris Symons has been booked to take the ride on Motivado in the Ballarat Cup and the popular jockey admits that he faces a tough assignment getting the best out of the son of Motivator, who has proven a tricky horse to handle since he arrived in Australia at the end of 2012.
Symonds told Racing Ahead during his weekly In The Saddle segment that he also feels the six-year-old has excuses for his poor last start performance and is hopeful that the gelding can return to the form that he showed during his maiden preparation in Australia when he won the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2500m) in Adelaide and finished second in the Listed McKell Cup (2400m).
“I think that he is a very difficult horse and that is probably why I have ended up with the ride,” Symonds said.
“He plays up a bit before the race, he threw Nick Hall off last start, and I just think that he is a bit difficult.
“At his best he is definitely a chance in this.
“He obviously failed at his last start, but he had his reasons why, he pulled up with a bit of mucus, and if he can find that earlier form from last prep he is going to be right in it.”
Motivado is currently available at 2014 Ballarat Cup odds of $15 in the betting market with Ladbrokes and there has been a sprinkling of support for the enigmatic galloper.