Trainer Peter Gelagotis is thrilled with the condition of exciting sprinter Illustrious Lad ahead of his second-up assignment in Saturday’s Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on the famous Flemington straight.
Illustrious Lad was a standout performer for the Gelagotis operation during the recent Spring Carnival and returned this time for a credible fifth in the talent-rich Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) on March 18th.
Gelagotis told Racing Victoria that he has been extremely pleased with the benefit taken by the I Am Invincible gelding since his first-up run and is confident that he will relish a step up to 1200m in the Newmarket Handicap 2017.
“He’s come through the run superb. He was probably a little bit unfortunate he didn’t get the cover in the race, and was facing the breeze that little bit and wanted to get on with the job fresh,” Gelagotis said.
“But he stuck to his task good, and to be beaten only three-quarters of a length, and then stepping into a Newmarket – at the weights (52.5kg), he’s a really live chance.
“He’s trained on good, he’s ticked all the boxes and looking forward to Saturday.”
Illustrious Lad has been a strong and consistent racehorse throughout his entire career so far and will take his place in the 2017 Newmarket Handicap field with an impressive record of nine wins and five minors, through twenty-seven starts.
Illustrious Lad resumed in spring for a smart win in the Listed Wylie Handicap (1100m) in South Australia, before running second behind Keen Array in the Listed Caulfield Village Stakes (1200m) on October 12th.
Posting undoubtedly his most impressive victory to date in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day, the five-year-old was sent to the paddock after he ran second behind multiple Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m).
The 2017 Newmarket Handicap field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
Illustrious Lad is currently tied on the third line of 2017 Newmarket Handicap betting at with Star Turn, at an $8 quote with Ladbrokes Australia.