Lee and Anthony Freedman will no longer train Group One winner Malaguerra, owners removing the horse from their stable and taking the four-year-old gelding to Peter Gelagotis.
Gelagotis was shocked when the offer to train Malaguerra came in from owner Bruno Micalizzi, telling G1X the move was one he never saw coming.
“Bruno turned up at trackwork to watch another horse we have for him (Grand Gesture) and just turned around and asked if wed be interested in taking Malaguerra,” Gelagotis said.
“It’s overwhelming, there was no pre-discussion. It was a shock but how could you say no?”
The one condition that was given to the Gelagotis camp was that regular jockey Ben Melham maintains the ride on the BTC Cup winner.
Malaguerra is not the first big addition to the Gelagotis stable for the spring, popular Tasmanian horse The Cleaner is also in their Moe stables.
Along with stable star Mourinho – who is currently rehabbing a tendon injury and is yet to be confirmed for the spring – it gives the Moe trainer a powerful headline trio.
Earlier on Tuesday Freedman confirmed Malaguerra was gone from his stable on RSN.
“The owners removed the horse from the stable and sent it to I don’t know who,” Freedman told RSN.
“It happens, everyone has got a story like that.”
Originally trained by Wez Hunter, Malaguerra was transferred to the Freedman stable after winning just one of his first four starts.
The horse then won two of his first five starts for the Freedman’s before being gelded before the 2015 spring.
From there Malaguerra improved by lengths as the gelding rose through the grades, winning seven of his last 10 starts, including the Group One BTC Cup at Doomben, where the gelding, under the riding of Glen Colless held on to defeat Dothraki by a short half-head.
The four-year-old has won 10 of 19 career starts and collected $758,100 in prizemoney.