Trainer Peter Gelagotis is happy with the condition of Illustrious Lad ahead of the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Illustrious Lad made his racing debut with a comfortable win in the Boxing Day Family Races Plate (1000m) at Morphettville Parks on December 21, despite bucking the start, and Gelagotis told Racing Ahead this morning that the I Am Invincible colt had recovered well from his debut performance.
“He has come through the run very well and we are very happy with him,” Gelagotis said.
“We have entered him a few times and we are happy to step him out on Saturday.”
The Chairman’s Stakes is normally run a quick tempo over the 1100 metre circuit at Caulfield and the likes of Cautious, Bugatty and Nayeli are likely to ensure that there is plenty of pace in the Group 3 event.
Illustrious Lad settled towards the tail of the field in his debut win before finishing with a strong closing burst and Gelagotis is hopeful that he will be able to do the same in the Chairman’s Stakes this weekend.
“We are just going to leave it to Craig (Newitt),” Gelagotis said.
“On paper there looks like there is going to be plenty of speed and hopefully he can just slot in somewhere, relax and find the line well.”
Illustrious Lad was not included in the third declarations for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), which were released by the Melbourne Racing Club yesterday, but Gelagotis has not ruled out a potential tilt at the $1 million race if the two-year-old performs well on Saturday.
“If the horse was to win and win emphatically, then I suppose you possibly have to consider it,” Gelagotis said.
“If that is not the case, then I think the paddock is the best option.
“We will let him furnish a little bit more and no doubt we will have a nice horse for the spring.”
Leading Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt has been booked to take the ride on Illustrious Lad in the Chairman’s Stakes and told Sky Racing HQ yesterday that he is confident that the colt can give him his first ever win in the $120,000 race.
“He looks a really nice horse,” Newitt said
“He did a fair bit wrong in Adelaide, but still got the job done.
“I am expecting him to go there and get the job done and he may end up in a Blue Diamond.”
Illustrious Lad is currently available at odds of $13 in Chairman’s Stakes betting markets; with Naylei ($3.10) a narrow favourite from debutant Eqdaam ($4.80).