769 days – now a victory, at last
QUALITY Victorian sprinter Illustrious Lad ended a frustrating run for connections by winning the $100,000 City Of Marion Stakes at Morphettville yesterday.
The Peter Gelagotis-trained gelding had not won for 769 days before coming off the speed to run down rivals, with Tasmanian jockey Anthony Darmanin in the saddle. It was Illustrious Lad’s third win, with one second, from six starts at Morphettville.
“It’s frustrating. He’s a handy horse and we’ve had a lot of fun with the horse,’’ Gelagotis said.
“He’s travelled here and there and he’s raced well without winning. It’s always nice to get a win.’’
Gelagotis, pictured, said it was always the plan to ride the horse off the speed and save him for one run at rivals.
“I said to Anthony, just leave him alone and let him have his time,’’ Gelagotis said. “He jumped well and travelled nicely and got his chance. “I thought at the 100m we were beaten but, to his credit, he wanted to be a winner today.’’
Gelagotis, a regular visitor to Adelaide from his Moe base, said it was important to target the right races when heading interstate.
“The racing here is strong and I’m under no illusion when you come here you need the right horse,’’ he said. “You can’t just rock up here and think it’s easy pickings. This will get his confidence back.’’
Favourite Platinum Angel continued her luckless record at the top level, charging home from a long way back to grab third just behind fellow Victorian galloper Nariko, who looked to have the race in her keeping when she charged past Casino Wizard.
Darmanin said he was sweating on a run approaching the turn, knowing the horse enjoyed racing room.
“Full credit goes to the horse. The gap opened and he quickened really well,’’ he said.
“If he’d been beaten, he would have been stiff,’’ he said.
RETURN TO FORM: Illustrious Lad, ridden by Anthony Darmanin, wins the City of Marion Stakes.