Former national soccer league footballer Manny Gelagotis got a bit excited at a horse sale a couple of years ago and put his hand up at $260,000 for a yearling – and then got nervous.
But the risk he and his brother Peter took when they purchased Hvasstan was forgotten after the colt’s breakthrough city win at Caulfield on Saturday.
Hvasstan ($4.20) turned in a powerful staying display to win the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1700m), sparking scenes of unbridled joy in the mounting yard.
“He’s the most expensive horse we’ve ever bought, so this is really something,” said trainer Peter Gelagotis.
“But he could be the one to take us somewhere.
“You take some risks in this business, this one might be worth it.”
Jockey Glen Boss had Hvasstan on the move from the 600m but the colt was still going strongly on the line to score by a length from Cost Nova ($21) with 1-1/4 lengths to third placegetter Baluch ($13).
Gelagotis and the colt’s owners, who include dual Brownlow medallist Greg Williams, now have the Victoria Derby in mind for Hvasstan.
“We’ll let the dust settle, but the Derby is the obvious thought,” Gelagotis said.
A quick mounting yard poll after Twilighting won the BMW Handicap at Caulfield gave the vote almost unanimously to jockey Craig Williams for a ride straight from the textbook.
“How do you beat that, it was a classic,” said winning owner Barry Griffiths.
Williams and Twilighting ($6.50) came from barrier 10 in the 11 horse field and were on the fence trailing the leaders within 50m.
The mare then travelled kindly for Williams who had her perfectly poised to take a run between the leading pair at the 250m and she accelerated clear for a win that seemed elementary.
Twilighting beat Let’s Be Happy ($5) by a length with the $3.10 favourite Shopaholic running on well for third, a further 1-1/4 lengths away.
With a spring success in the bag, Ellerton will now seek out some black type for Twilighting.