Small in size, but big in heart.
That’s how Roy Rogers describes Halatorion.
The Albany trainer is confident Halatorian can win again at Ascot on Saturday and stamp his claims for a bigger race in a fortnight.
Either side of his sixth placing in the Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m) at home in Albany on January 8, Halatorion has run two top races.
The Oratorio gelding pulled clear to win by 3 ½ lengths in slick time (1:08:70) over 1200m and last start produced a similar winning margin at Ascot.
Sent forward to take up the role as pacemaker by William Pike, Halatorion was never troubled and won his 72+ 1100m handicap with a fair degree of ease.
Halatorion carries 59.5kg in the Mumm Champagne Handicap (1200m) tomorrow (Saturday), a rise of 3kg, but Rogers isn’t fussed.
He rates the five-year-old as the best of his three runners on the Ascot card.
“He just needs the speed on,” Rogers told Tabradio.
“He’s drops back to 66+ and carries a little bit more weight, but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.
“He’s a terrific little horse, weighs 440kg, so he’s only a midget, but he’s got a big heart.”
A common factor in Halatorion’s past two wins has been Pike. It was the champion jockey’s advice that has Rogers exploring a Listed race next Saturday.
“The plan will be after tomorrow, all going to plan with what I think should happen, he’ll butter up a week later in the Cyril Flower Stakes (1400m),” Rogers said.
“I know it’s a big ask, but he’ll go into that with no weight and Willie (Pike) did say last start he’s got Listed level qualities.
“We need to go that way and find out and he does go really good on the seven day back up.”
After Tabtouch opened Halatorion at $2.90, he’s firmed into $2.45.
He leads the market with Hammarmill $5.50, Ain’t No Other Man $7.50 and Stellar Vista $8.50.