Horror barrier to test Hvasstan in Ballarat Cup

By: Mark Mazzaglia
November 21st, 2014

Trainer Peter Gelagotis admits that Hvasstan has a tough task ahead after drawing the outside barrier in the Listed $200,000 Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup (2200m) at Ballarat on Saturday.

Hvasstan has a tough task ahead from the outside barrier in the Ballarat Cup. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Hvasstan has a tough task ahead from the outside barrier in the Ballarat Cup. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Hvasstan was handed gate nineteen in the original barrier draw in the eighteen horse field plus one emergency but will jump from eighteen which is the field limit size.

Gelagotis was excited heading towards the Ballarat Cup and was confident that Hvasstan was ready to find his winning form again but was devastated when the high numbered marble was pulled out.

“It’s devastating when those things happen,” Gelagotis told Racing Network.

“I’m a bit down about it, and I’m normally really upbeat and positive.”

“The horse is really good.”

Gelagotis said that when he spoke to jockey Craig Newitt he just laughed in response, but the Moe trainer is not giving up hope.

“I spoke with Froggy (Craig Newitt) yesterday and he just laughed,” Gelagotis said.

“He knows it’s a tough task, but I guess we’ll just go back to give him every chance and hope the speed is on.”

“If they go a genuine speed and he can pick his way through the field he’ll be a chance.”

“I’m confident he’ll run well, we just need luck from the gate.”

Hvasstan showed plenty of ability as a three year old with a win in the 2012 Group 3 $150,000 Starlight Children’s Foundation Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield before running fourth to Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington at his next start.

But the five year old has only won one race since, taking out a 2040m Handicap at Moonee Valley twelve months ago.

Gelagotis felt that he had found the right race for Hvasstan and was pleased with his last start fourth in a 0-90 Handicap over 2000m at Flemington on the final day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“I thought his last run at Flemington, against the bias and the pattern was fabulous, so the horse is on target, it’s just a horror draw is all,” Gelagotis said.

“The horse is really good and he’s ready to go.”

Hvasstan is currently marked as a $21 chance in the market order  for the Ballarat Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au with the Robert Smerdon trained Spinderbella retaining the favourite spot at $5.50 just ahead of Tuscan Fire at $6.50.

Next in the betting is the Chris Waller trained Vilanova at $8, At First Sight at $9, Count Of Limonade at $11, and Electric Fusion and Mujadale at $12.

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