Trainer Robbie Griffiths is confident recent experience racing on the straight course at Flemington will stand Halvorsen in good stead for his attempt to win the Listed A R Creswick Stakes.
Griffiths was keen to run the talented sprinter at Flemington in the lead-up to Saturday’s Listed Creswick Stakes (1200m) for three-year-olds as he believes horses generally improve from the experience.
Halvorsen was narrowly beaten by Gytrash in a 1000m-straight race at Flemington last Saturday week but Griffiths said the gelding did more than enough to indicate he was on track to be a force to be reckoned with on Saturday.
“I thought it was outstanding,” Griffiths said.
“I was happy to run a place because experience has taught me most horses improve a lot with their first run down the straight.
“He had not had a run for a month and he is probably better at 1100 and 1200 metres than over 1000 metres.
“So throwing all of those factors into the mix and seeing him run so close to a really good horse in Gytrash, I left Flemington very happy that we’re on target to be a great chance in the Creswick.
“He had a nice gallop this morning and he has had some experience down the straight now so I’d like to think we can be a winning chance.”
Halvorsen, who has won four of his 12 starts and been placed five times, will again be ridden by Andrew Mallyon.
The Creswick Stakes is the feature race on Saturday’s program and has attracted 18 nominations.
Gytrash is entered to clash with Halvorsen again, with both to carry 59kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions.
Dual stakes winner Sesar heads with the weights with 60kg while other nominations include in-form filly Bam’s On Fire and three other last-start winners.
“I think it’s a really good race,” Griffiths said.
“I was hoping there would be a few less in-form horses in there but you don’t get good Saturday racing at Flemington without quality.
“I think the club would be happy with the field that has been nominated.
“They’re going to be hard to beat but hopefully he is good enough to get the win.”