For Moe trainer Peter Gelagotis and Perth owner Bruno Micallizzi there will be a sense of redemption when Malaguerra returns for the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on December 1.
The Magnus seven-year-old is having his second shot at Perth racing’s premier sprint, the Winterbottom Stakes, after he finished fifth behind Takedown in the 2016 edition of the Group 1 sprint.
“He was stuck on the fence and wasn’t tested,” Gelagotis said.
“If he had got out I’m sure he would have won.”
Malaguerra tackles the Winterbottom Stakes after running 12th first-up behind Brave Smash in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
Gelagotis has urged punters to ignore Malaguerra’s numercial placing, the gelding’s first appearance in nearly a year after sustaining a suspensory injury.
“There was congestion in the race and he had no luck,” Gelagotis said.
“It was basically a non-event and you can rule a line through it.
“He was stuck on the fence with nowhere to go.
“He just seems to keep finding trouble in recent times.
“After that run we decided to target a slightly softer option in Perth.
“Bruno is a local and this is a race that he really wants to win.”
Despite going seven starts without a victory since the 2017 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) last January, Gelagotis is adamant Malaguerra will be a force in the Winterbottom Stakes.
“Absolutely he will be,” Gelagotis.
“I wouldn’t be coming across and wasting my time for nothing.
“He is in good order and just needs a bit of luck.”
Malaguerra, a winner at 12 of 30 starts and Voodoo Lad are $9 for the Winterbottom.
Last year’s champion Viddora is the $3.35 favourite. Local hopes Enticing Star and Dainty Tess are next at $6 and $8.50 respectively.
Runson, a last-start third to Osborne Bulls in the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 3, is $8.75.
Gelagotis said he has healthy respect for Ransom, trained by Leon and Troy Corstens.
“He goes real good,” Gelagotis said.
“He can roll along and set a good tempo.
“I think he could be the next new kid on the block.”