Martinvast Set for Christmas Cup 2013 Back Up

After a nice third at the track just last weekend, Martinvast is a good chance of backing up seven days later this Saturday in the 2013 Christmas Cup.

Travolta

Travolta (pictured) and Martinvast could be Perth bound after Saturday's Christmas Cup 2013 in Sydney. Photo: Steve Hart.

Their local Sydney based trainer Gerald Ryan was pleased with not only their performance at Randwick’s Kensington track on December 7, but also the way the Hurricane Run gelding pulled up after.

The four-year-old French import, yet to be tested in black type company, was racing third-up for the season in a benchmark 85 over 1800m.

Relishing a 52kg lightweight thanks to a two kilo claim from jockey Damien Thornton, Martinvast came within half a length of the Peter Snowden-trained winner Solemn.

Now Ryan plans to step them right up in distance to 2400m for a shot at Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m).

“I’m thinking about backing him up in the Christmas Cup because he has come through Saturday’s race in good order,” Ryan told The Daily Telegraph.

The race this year drew only 10 nominations led by Gai Waterhouse’s last start ATC Cup winner Travolta.

Also set to back up from the ATC Cup over the 2000m at Rosehill from November 30 is runner-up Hoylonny, the Chris Waller-trained Secessio (3rd) and 2010 Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday (4th).

Martinvast has had plenty of experience over more distance including their first look at the mile and a half when winning their third from four career starts back in France in May last year.

In Australia they’ve also won over 2200m in August this year, and have been competitive right up to 2600m.

While they step up in class on Saturday, Ryan remains confident they can be competitive again in the Christmas Cup and bag themselves a stakes win at their first attempt.

“He’s had three runs back now, he’s in very good form and is ready for 2400m,” the trainer said.

Both Martinvast and Travolta are also a chance of heading west for the WA Summer Racing Carnival on the charter flight from Sydney to Perth organized by Perth Racing.

If they take the bait they would be aimed at the $250,000 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) on December 21 and the $400,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day at Ascot Racecourse.

All the Villiers Stakes Day race fields for the weekend are set for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.

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