Peter Gelagotis is confident he has played his role and said it’s now up to Malaguerra to complete the assignment in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
The Victorian-based trainer believes bad luck is the biggest enemy to Malaguerra who headlines a strong cast of eastern states raiders, shading Terravista for TAB favouritism.
Malaguerra found his position at the head of the market after he outgunned Spieth in the Group One Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington three weeks back.
Victory on the final day of the Flemington carnival followed a second in the Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, Malaguerra’s first outing for the Gelagotis stable.
The Magnus gelding won the BTC Cup (1200m) for Lee and Anthony Freedman during the Brisbane winter carnival before transferring to his new headquarters in Moe.
Gelagotis said Malaguerra, who is just shy of $1.5 million in prizemoney, was poised to end his racing year on a stunning high.
“I don’t think we can do any better coming here,” Gelagotis told the Sports Daily on TABradio.
“He travelled superb, he held his condition on the flight and he has pleased me in the feed bin.
“More importantly his work has been nothing short of sensational.
“The people who have watched his final gallop have given a glowing report.
“Simon Miller’s words to me were: ‘I can see why he is a Group One horse’.
“My track rider said he was going every bit as good as leading into the Darley.
“We have no stone unturned our end and it’s a matter of having a bit of luck.
“Unless I have missed something he will run up to his best and be the one to beat I think.”
Victorian jockey, Ben Melham, who is no stranger to big race Perth success, will join forces with Malaguerra again.
The 28-year-old won the WA Derby on Mystic Prince (2013) and partnered Liberty’s Gem to win the Placid Ark Stakes and Sir Ernest Lee Steere Classic (2014).
Melham and Malaguerra combine from gate one.
“He is a Group One winning jock who lives and breathes this horse,” Gelagotis said.
“I don’t believe top end jocks need to be told what to do.
“I think we can complicate things and simple stupid is always the best.
“When you are the calibre of Ben Melham you let him do his job.”
Malaguerra is quoted a $3.30 chance with the TAB. Sydney galloper, Terravista, is next pick at $3.60.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli