Moe trainer Peter Gelagotis was disappointed with missing out on a start in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) with Moss ‘n’ Dale, but is looking forward to starting him in the Listed City of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
“It’s a lovely little race to compete in and hopefully we can share in some of the spoils,” Gelagotis said.
“He’s thrived up there in the better weather. He’s very bright, happy and well in himself.” The Castledale five-year-old gelding has been an ever consistent presence in Gelagotis’ barn, winning 11 of his 24 starts including the Listed Sale Cup (1600m).
Gelagotis was more than pleased with Moss ‘n’ Dale’s last-start victory at Flemington over 1400m and believes his runner is capable of repeating the dose this weekend.
“It was very impressive, he keeps stepping up,” he said. “Every time we raise the bar he answers us by being a winner and that’s all you can ask.
“I think there is still more to come with the horse, he’s put his toe in the water at that level and he has proven himself quite worthy.
“In the last 12 months he has shown a better race pattern where he can just stalk the speed and really quicken off any sort of tempo.
That holds him in good stead for a race like this.”
Gelagotis has highlighted the Chris Waller-trained Religify as the biggest competition in the race, but believes Moss ‘n’ Dale’s winning attitude will prevail.
“Religify is my pick as the main danger,” he said.
“I think he is a very consistent horse, is lightly raced with a great winning record.
“(But) our horse keeps on improving and stepping up to the mark, so he doesn’t know anything else but to try and puts himself in a really good position.
“I’ve had some good horses come through my hands in recent years and I rate him my favourite purely because he tries so hard every start and his mannerism around the stable never falters.
“At the weights, and if this track stays the way it is, a soft6, then he will be more than competitive.”