Illustrious Lad has been included in the 2015 Wyong Magic Millions Stakes field and Racing Manager Manny Gelagotis is bullish about the gelding’s chance in the $100,000 race tomorrow afternoon.
Illustrious Lad finished his winter campaign with an impressive victory in the Listed A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m) at Flemington on July 11 and he resumed with a close third behind Murt The Flirt and Wild Rain in the Ballarat Magic Millions Classic (1100m) on November 21.
Gelagotis told Racing Ahead this morning that he was very impressed with the performance of Illustrious Lad and he is confident that the son of I Am Invincible will get a dream run in transit from barrier three.
“He was outstanding at Ballarat,” Gelagotis said.
“He was one of the only horses that was really back in the field, he was travelling deep and it was a really outstanding effort.
“I have a lot of time for this horse and he has been up in Sydney for two and a half weeks now and appears to be going very well.
“He strikes a race tomorrow that looks really competitive, but thankfully he has drawn well.
“He is not a horse that you can bustle early, but he settled further forward than we thought he would at Ballarat.
“I think tactically we don’t have to be too far back and if he can find some backsides and get out he has a really powerful burst.”
While Gelagotis is happy with the condition of Illustrious Lad ahead of the Wyong Magic Millions Stakes, he admits that there is some concern about how the four-year-old will handle the Sydney way of going for the first time.
Gelagotis said that Illustrious Lad has shown no issues getting on his right leg in track work, but he feels that the true test will be under race conditions in the Wyong Magic Millions Stakes.
“The challenge with him is how he adapts to going the other way under pressure,” Gelagotis said.
“It has been so far so good, but race day pressure is when you find out.
“The horse can’t be faulted and it will give us a really good opportunity tomorrow to see him going that way.
“This is a stepping stone to the big race on the Gold Coast, but we are very happy with him and looking forward to the race.”
Illustrious Lad is currently available at 2015 Wyong Magic Millions Stakes odds of $11 and he is on the fifth line of betting behind Flamboyant Lass ($2.70), Flippant ($3.30), Egyptian Symbol ($7) and Stravigo ($8.50).