A trip to Sydney for the 2013 Australian Derby (2400m) seems almost a certainty for Hvasstan after the honest three-year-old was strong winning the Group 2 2013 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
It was his first trip to Moonee Valley but he handled the tight-turning track like a pro, sitting just off the speed before running down the leaders and holding on from the fast-finishing Philippi.
After producing the run of the race to fly home for fourth in the Australian Guineas (1600m), Hvasstan showed a genuine appreciation for the step up in trip.
Trainer Peter Gelagotis said he “would let the dust settle” before deciding on his next option but a likely path would be the 2013 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 30 leading into next month’s Derby.
Jockey Craig Newitt gave the Fastnet Rock colt a glowing endorsement ahead of the probable Sydney journey, suggesting he will only improve as he steps up in distance.
“He’s a pleasure to ride and he began a lot better than he did in the (Australian) Guineas,” Newitt said.
“I’m sure he’ll go to Sydney very good.
“The further he goes, the better he gets and Pete’s assured me the wetter the better too so the more rain up there the better.”
Hvasstan first showed signs of his staying ability in the spring, winning the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2500m) and finishing fourth in the Victoria Derby (2500m).
The form out of that Derby has held up tremendously in the autumn, with Derby second Super Cool defeating winner Fiveandahalfstar in an Australian Cup where the pair dominated the older horses.
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Alister Clark Stakes 2013 – Results
|1||8||LOVEYAMADLY||Mick Price||Dale Smith||–||3||54kg||$2.90F|
|2||6||GO THE KNUCKLE||Robert Smerdon||Nicholas Hall||0.1L||1||56kg||$8|
|3||13||IT IS WRITTEN||Robbie Griffiths||Damian Lane||0.2L||10||54kg||$10|
|4||4||ZEDI KNIGHT||Brendan McCarthy||Brad Rawiller||0.4L||7||57kg||$11|
|5||1||OUTLANDISH LAD||Dennis O’Leary||Noel Callow||0.5L||4||59.5kg||$11|
|6||11||EIGHT BILLS||Troy Portelli||Glen Boss||2.75L||9||54kg||$13|
|7||3||FREERETURN||Jason Warren||Craig Newitt||3.05L||2||58kg||$7.50|
|8||5||UTAH SAINTS||Brent Stanley||Dwayne Dunn||3.25L||11||56.5kg||$21|
|9||2||PARTHIAN||Peter Snowden||Steven Arnold||3.75L||5||58.5kg||$31|
|10||7||BLACKIE (NZ)||Jarrod McLean||Chris Symons||4.15L||6||55kg||$31|
|11||10||MR CHARD||Dean Lawson||Craig Williams||5.15L||12||54kg||$81|
|12||9||IT’S CRUNCH TIME||Doug Harrison||Stephen Baster||5.25L||8||54kg||$14|
|13||12||YOUBOLT||Jarrod McLean||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||7L||13||54kg||$61|