Sydney three-year-olds beware.
Hvasstan is coming and it isn’t to run second.
The Peter Gelagotis-trained colt will take on Randwick Guineas winner It’s A Dundeel in Saturday week’s Rosehill Guineas (2000m) after a strong win in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
“His next start will definitely be in the Rosehill Guineas and we’re looking forward to it,” Racing manager Manny Gelagotis told horseracing.com.au.
With Pierro unlikely to back up from this weekend’s Canterbury Stakes, New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel is the probable favourite.
It’s A Dundeel won plenty of admiration for his powerful Randwick Guineas win on Saturday but Gelagotis has warned not to write off the Melbourne form.
Gelagotis takes confidence out of November’s Victoria Derby where Hvasstan finished fourth to top three-year-olds Fiveandahalfstar and Super Cool as It’s A Dundeel ran home for seventh.
“We’ve met It’s A Dundeel once and we beat it and finished behind Fiveandahalfstar and Super Cool,” Gelagotis said.
While at the time some experts doubted the strength of the Derby, they can no longer.
Super Cool and Fiveandahalfstar have since gone out and thumped the older horses, including Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, to quinella the Group 1 Australian Cup.
Team Gelagotis head to Sydney confident their tough colt is up to the task, with the Alister Clark win further strengthening their opinion of him after he produced the run of the race to finish fourth in the Australian Guineas.
“We went in to the Alister Clark thinking that all things being equal, we had the horse to win and he did that,” Gelagotis said.
“In the Guineas his run was excellent. It was unfortunate he got involved in the early scrimmage but his sectionals were great.”
If things go to plan in the Rosehill Guineas, Hvasstan will then head to the $1.5 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 13.
Hvasstan is the star in a stable that is quickly establishing a reputation for punching above its weight against the big names in Melbourne.
Gelagotis said the success hasn’t come easy but is thrilled they are beginning to reap rewards for their efforts.
“That’s our strategy, we don’t want to be a big stable, we want to be a quality stable,” he said.