The decision not to run Levendi in the Victoria Derby has paid dividends with the colt winning the Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington.
Trainer Peter Gelagotis said he’ had run out of time to prepare the three-year-old for the Derby and switched his attention to Saturday’s Group Three race.
Levendi was battered and bruised following his last-start sixth in the Caulfield Guineas and required a stint freshening up at the beach.
The tactic worked with Levendi, the $4 favourite under Ben Melham, scoring by a neck from Sambro ($11) with Irish Vega ($21) a nose away third.
“We sent him down to our beach property at Coronet Bay and he had a week recovery in the sea,” Gelagotis said.
“He bounced through that really well but the timeframe we had to work with and the distance levels we had to get to weren’t going to work.
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“So we switched races and one thing our stable does really well is set realistic targets for our horses that are achievable.”
While Levendi wasn’t pushed to 2500m for Saturday’s Derby, Gelagotis thinks the colt will have no problems getting to that distance in the future.
“His granddam was Tully Thunder and she won an Oaks,” Gelagotis said.
“There’s upside in the family that gives him a lot of scope going forward.”
Gelagotis said the stable will assess Levendi in coming days before deciding whether to press on to the Sandown Guineas on November 18.
But the trainer said he would have no hesitation spelling the colt.
“I think if he has an extra two weeks in the paddock rather than going to another race it will be a benefit and he’ll be a better, stronger version in the autumn,” Gelagotis said.