Trainer Peter Gelagotis would expect Malaguerra to be rated the best sprinter in the country if he can win the Group 1 $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Malaguerra won his second Group 1 race at his second start for Gelagotis when he stormed home to beat Spieth and Fell Swoop in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 5.
That win followed a first up second for the stable behind Star Turn in the Group 2 $400,000 Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on October 8.
The Magnus five year old was prepared by Lee and Anthony Freedman when he won the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival and Gelagotis can see him being rated the best sprinter in Australia if he can win his third Group 1 race on the weekend.
“It would rank him the best, wouldn’t it?” Gelagotis told the Herald Sun.
“It would at the moment, but it’s spasmodic and can change.
“His form says he is the horse of the moment.”
Gelagotis said that Malaguerra arrived at his Moe stables with a reputation of being a little hard to handle but claims the gelding settled in at his quiet environment at his new home.
“He has had a reputation in the past of being a bit of a scallywag, but has been terrific with us,” Gelagotis said.
“I conceded I wasn’t going to improve him ability-wise, but where I had a bit of confidence in my ability was his temperament and the facility we have where every horse has his one paddock during the afternoon where he can chill out.
Malaguerra has drawn the inside barrier in the twelve horse Winterbottom Stakes field and will be ridden again by Darley Classic winning jockey improved with those two Spring Carnival runs under his belt.
“Malaguerra should be even further improved for the Winterbottom,” Melham told the West Australian.
“He was racing only second-up in the Darley and I felt he’d had enough on the line. He’ll be up against class horses in Perth, but should be hard to beat again.”
Betting at Ladbrokes.com.au have Malaguerra as the $3.20 favourite for the Winterbottom Stakes with his main danger Terravista hot on his heels at $3.50.
Terravista was the winner of the 2014 Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington and his only win since was in the Group 2 $300,000 G1X.com.au Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the 2015 Sydney Spring Carnival.
The Joe Pride trained Terravista showed that he was on the way back with a first up a second to Redzel in the Listed $150,000 Mumm Stakes (1000m) down the Flemington straight on November 3.
The locally trained Rock Magic is the next in the Winterbottom Stakes betting at $8 just ahead of the Gary Moore trained Takedown at $9.