Trainer Peter Gelagotis is hoping the addition of blinkers will bring a change of luck for Malaguerra in the 2018 Group 1 $1m Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Malaguerra was pushed back through the field and was mentioned in the steward’s report as being hampered at the 100m mark before finishing twelfth to Brave Smash in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on October 26.
“We’re trying something different with the blinkers, it’s not a thing I usually do but it’s seemed to work well for other older horses and he worked well in them,” Gelagotis told racing.com..
“It’s been very frustrating, he’s been luckless and we really just hope that he gets his chance on Saturday.”
“He’s healthy and sound and we just hope he gets a chance to express himself at his best.”
Malaguerra will carry the number one saddlecloth in the weight for age Winterbottom Stakes and has drawn in the middle of the pack at barrier seven in the fifteen horse field with Ben Melham in the saddle again.
Malaguerra is a two times Group 1 winner and tasted success at the highest level for the first time in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben during the 2016 Brisbane Winter Carnival and then carried that winning form into the Melbourne Spring Carnival the same year with a win in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on Derby Day.
Gelagotis took Malaguerra to Perth following his Darley Classic win and the gelding finished fifth to Takedown in the 2016 Winterbottom Stakes.
Malaguerra has been a long time out of the winner’s circle with his last victory back in January, 2017, in the Group 2 $200,000 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley but the seven year old did win an 800m barrier trial at Cranbourne before heading to the West and is on the third line of betting for the Winterbottom Stakes at $8 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Lloyd Kennewell trained Viddora is marked as the $2.80 favourite to score back to back wins in the Winterbottom Stakes with the local mare Enticing Star the second pick at $6.
Betting for the 2018 Winterbottom Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.80 Viddora, $7 Enticing Star, $8 Malaguerra, $9 Voodoo Lad, $12 Runson, I’ll Have A Bit, $14 Malibu Style, $16 Dainty Tess, $18 Ashlor, $26 Durendal, $34 Profit Street, $51 Belter, Valour Road, Seannie, $81 Rebel King.