Connections are confident of a nice showing on Thursday from Illustrious Lad despite the Wyong Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Stakes 2015 taking place the opposite way of racing than the Peter Gelagotis-trained galloper is accustomed to.
A four-year-old son of I Am Invincible, Illustrious Lad has his first run at Wyong this week as one of 11 sprinters in the mix for the restricted $100,000 Wyong Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Stakes (1200m).
The race is open to four-year-olds for the first time this summer and Illustrious Lad has drawn ideally in barrier three with Vlad Duric retaining the ride on the in-form galloper.
During the winter the horse rounded out his campaign with a Flemington win in the Listed Creswick Stakes (1200m) before returning on November 21 at Ballarat with a win over 1100m in another Magic Millions-only sprint.
Illustrious Lad did it tough from gate 11 of 15 that day in the Ballarat Magic Millions Classic but was still only beaten a quarter-length by the winner Murt The Flirt who is another backing up in Thursday’s edition at Wyong.
Gelagotis’s racing manager and brother Manny said the test was how the horse would go the opposite way of going but his work had been solid in the lead-up to his first attempt at racing right-handed.
“The risk factor is going the other way but he seems to have settled in well at Warwick Farm where he’s been for the last two-and-a-half weeks,” Manny Gelagotis told Racenet.
“His work has been really good and he’s in good order and this run is really going to top him off and give him the opportunity to get on his right leg for when we head to the Gold Coast.”
Queensland’s Gold Coast Racecourse is host to the $10 million Magic Millions Race Day on January 9, which is where Illustrious Lad is headed eyeing a start in something like the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint (1100m).
Maturing with each run, Illustrious Lad travels interstate for the Magic Millions races after originally being set for Flemington’s Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on New Year’s Day.
“He was tremendously unlucky and caught deep at Ballarat and it was an outstanding performance given the way the track raced that day,” Gelagotis said ahead of Thursday.
“We think he’s a quality horse. We have decent aspirations for him. He’s drawn beautifully and we think he’s a huge chance.
“If he can get to the outside and get to strike at them, he’ll take a lot of holding out.”
Illustrious Lad currently pays $13 through Ladbrokes.com.au in their Wyong Magic Millions Stakes odds.
The markets are led by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained firming favourite Flippant ($2.90) and the rails-drawn Flamboyant Lass ($3.20) for Gai Waterhouse.
Both fillies head towards the Gold Coast’s $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) next month.
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