Manny and Peter Gelagotis

Manny and Peter Gelagotis (Image: Karl Kaldawi)

Gelagotis to play Long game with import

Manny Gelagotis hopes Irish import Long Arm can become a Cups contender.

But whether that is the Lexus Melbourne Cup or a country cup will be learnt through the summer, with the five-year-old set to make his debut at Flemington on Saturday.

The lightly raced gelding won his first two starts in his homeland before finishing fourth over 2515m at Listed level in a race in which Group-competitive Pondus finished second.

Purchased through a bloodstock agent, Gelagotis and his trainer brother Peter hope Long Arm can bring that form to Australia.

"Clearly he is a staying-type of horse. We bought the horse hoping he can compete in better grade and better company as he develops and matures up," Manny Gelagotis said.

"He is four-year-old their time, five here. He's lightly raced, a young horse, he's got a lot to learn but we are hoping he can develop and progress and be a nice horse into the future for us.

"He is horse that we are taking a view that we will start at the bottom (and work from there). We feel through the formline and seeing the horse, he can develop into a pretty nice stayer.

"Long-term we are dreaming he can develop into a Cups horse - but when I say Cups horse, that's a Cups horse of whatever description. Whether it's a country cup or Lexus Melbourne Cup (we will find out)."

While the 1600m of Saturday's $125,000 #Lovethehorse Trophy is short of what his best distance will be, Gelagotis is confident Long Arm will 'benefit greatly' from the hit-out.

Craig Williams has been booked to ride from barrier four.

"His trackwork and trials suggest he builds through his gears," Gelagotis said.

"There's no doubt he's a stayer. From what we have experienced in the past with these imports, different training methods, sometimes they can go sharp.

"We feel he needs to race, he is feeling well and (has) done enough work. We felt instead of trialing him over a mile and going to a 2000-metre race first-up, he's better off going to a nice, big circuit and having a blow out and race-day experience.

"He is a nice horse."