After walking home dead last at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Motivado is out for atonement in Saturday’s 2014 Ballarat Cup.
Bringing an end to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for another season, this weekend’s $200,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) features a capacity field of 18 starters and jumps as Race 8 at 4:40pm.
Current favourite in the Ballarat Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Robert Smerdon-trained Spinderbella ($5.50) who comes off a win over 2040m at Moonee Valley on Manikato Stakes night and is undefeated at the track with two previous wins.
The Hayes & Dabernig-trained veteran Motivado meanwhile can be found at $15 to win, the seven-year-old drawn wide in barrier 13 with Chris Symons to ride.
He gets in on the 54kg minimum, a full six kilos better off than the 60kg top weights Fat Al ($26) and the well-supported Tuscan Fire ($6.50) coming off a fourth in the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m) at Flemington from November 4.
Last time out the imported Motivado had 59kg in the $100,000 SecondBite Plate (2000m), the galloper finishing over 33 lengths away in the handicap on November 8 won by the Phillip Stokes-trained Held Hostage.
Co-trainer Hayes however is willing to forgive and forget that run where Motivado lost two shoes and suffered respiratory issues.
It was only his second run of the season too following a luckless seventh first-up in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) when blocked for a run on the straight and again over the final furlong.
“I’d just forget he went around (at Flemington) and I’d look back to his Seymour Cup run and rate him on that,” Hayes told Racing Victoria.
Originally prepared in the UK by Sir Mark Prescott, Motivado hasn’t won a race since his opening season in Australia back in May of 2013 when he beat home Shiny Buttons in Adelaide’s Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2500m).
Since then he’s finished in the money just once and has had a host of bad runs and bad luck including the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) this March where he failed to finish.
The bookies are keeping him safe in Ballarat Cup betting and Hayes is hoping he can bounce back and have things go his way for the first time in a long time.
Hayes and Dabernig, who won the Melbourne Spring Racing Trainer’s Premiership last week, are also looking forward to saddling up Shaf in one of the support races on Ballarat Cup Day.
The Wanted colt drops back in class for a run in the $100,000 Thomas Jewellers VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m), jumping from barrier two with Dwayne Dunn aboard.
He comes off a game fourth behind Galaxy Pegasus from Cox Plate Day in the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) and goes up to 1400m for the first time on Saturday.
“He ran in Group company and this is a little bit of a drop back in class,” Hayes said.
“It’s his first try and the 1400, but the way he finished at the Valley you would say he’ll love it.
“He could have easily placed (at Moonee Valley), Kerrin (McEvoy) got held up on him, so I would say he’s a classy horse at this distance at the right time of year.”
The team also has Stratum colt Moral Outrage running in the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) on Saturday.
To check out the full Ballarat Cup Day betting odds and options, visit our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au and back your selections at the best prices!