Courtesy of Brad Bishop 11/03/14 - www.relaxedracing.com.au - Peter Gelagotis has his eyes on a feature Victorian country double this weekend. The Moe horseman will have runners in two of the major events on one of the biggest weekends on the country racing calendar.
Gelagotis has Hvasstan and Mourinho entered for Sunday's $100,000 Yarra Valley Cup (1950m), but it will be left to Hvasstan to fly the stable flag in that event with Mourinho to go around 24 hours earlier in the $150,000 Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo.
Despite finishing second-last behind Lidari, Gelagotis was thrilled with Hvasstan's effort in last Saturday's Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m), which was run at a dawdling tempo, and was excited about seeing him step up in distance to Sunday's race.
"I thought he went enormous," he said. "He was really good in his action, he had his neck out and he was trying very hard, but they were just too sharp for him at that distance range.
"We're stepping up in distance and he was just a bit one-paced at the mile but he only got beat 5.5 lengths in a Blamey which I think is good enough form to be competitive with the right conditions at Yarra Glen."
The Gelagotis pair are among 24 nominations for the feature event on the nine-race Yarra Valley card.
Macedon Lodge pair Tanby and Massiyn head the order of entry with last year's third placegetter Montgomery, recent Caulfield winner Commanding Time and Pakenham Cup winner Captain Fancypantz among the other entries.
The Yarra Valley card follows Saturday's monster day at Bendigo, where the $150,000 Listed Golden Mile (1600m) is one of the headline acts.
Gelagotis considers it a more suitable second-up option for Mourinho (pictured winning at Moonee Valley), who resumed with a slashing second behind Mouro as a $101 chance at Flemington on 1 March.
"I was ecstatic with that run," Gelagotis said. "We rode him quiet and to see him be so sharp over 1400 fresh just has me licking my lips for when he gets to his right distance.
"If he can relax like that in a distance race he's going to be a lot stronger on the line."
After the Golden Mile, Mourinho will head to the Albury Cup (2000m) and the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield before a shot at the $200,000 Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) on 1 May.
The Golden Mile one of four features at Bendigo, which will also host the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Rush, the $150,000 Listed Bendigo Guineas (1400m) and the $110,000 Bendigo Gold Bracelet (1400m).