Moe trainer Peter Gelagotis will now head to Sydney with Hvasstan for a two pronged Group 1 assignment after taking out the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley last night.
Hvasstan lived up to stable expectation and responded under hard riding from Craig Newitt to forge away close to the line to beat the fast finishing Philippi by a length with Sheer Talent battling away on the fence to hold on for a close third.
Peter Gelagotis’ brother Manny, who races Hvasstan with a large group of friends expected the three year to win and the Fastnet Rock colt didn’t let the team down.
“We thought he had to come here and win and win well,” Gelagotis said.
“And, that’s what he did.
“The world is his oyster. He is a good horse and tonight wasn’t a surprise, he was favourite and he was entitled to be favourite.
“He switches off – that’s his biggest asset. He doesn’t spend any money in the run.
“He is a good horse, people need to realise that.”
Peter Gelagotis wanted to see how Hvasstan pulled up after his tough win but was then quick to announce that the team would be heading to Sydney for the Group 1 $500,000 M. J. Bale Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 30 and then onto to the Group 1 $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 13.
“The Rosehill Guineas looks perfect for him,” Gelagotis said.
“He showed in the spring he was up to Derby class, so we’ll have that in mind, but only if he shows us that’s where he should go.”
Hvasstan had shown in the Spring that he was competitive at Group 1 level with a fourth to Fiveandahalfstar and Super Cool in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington and ran a creditable fourth after blowing the start in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2.
The Spring form was made to look good when Super Cool gained the upper hand on Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar with the two classy three year olds quinellaing the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington last week.
Hvasstan was sent out the $2.90 favourite on the strength of his luckless Australian Guineas fourth with Philippi at $3.70 and third placegetter Sheer Talent also in the betting at $4.