Malaguerra heads west for G1 Winterbottom

Malaguerra arrived in Perth where he will try to win his third Group One race this year at Ascot.

Malaguerra has arrived in Perth where he will try to win his third Group One race this year in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.

The gelding was one of a host of eastern states horses flown to Perth from Melbourne on Sunday night for feature races at Ascot in the coming weeks.

This Saturday is the Group One Railway Stakes (1600m) while Malaguerra will run in the $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) a week later with his regular jockey Ben Melham to ride.

Malaguerra won the Group One BTC Cup for Lee and Anthony Freedman during the Brisbane winter carnival before being transferred to trainer Peter Gelagotis after his Queensland campaign.

The gelding won the $1 million Group One Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington at his second start for Gelagotis last Saturday week.

The trainer’s brother and racing manager Manny Gelagotis said the Winterbottom had always been part of the plans for Malaguerra this campaign.

“The owner is from Perth so the aim was to give him a sprint campaign in the spring, just short and sharp, with three runs,” Gelagotis said.

“Then we’ll tip him out. I think he’s a really good seven furlong (1400m) horse into the future so I’m looking forward to getting him out to 1400 metre races in the autumn.”

Malaguerra is the $3 favourite in the TAB’s pre-post market for the Winterbottom ahead of fellow Group One-winning sprinter Terravista who won the Darley Classic in 2014.

“His class will take him a long way,” Gelagotis said.

“I think him and Terravista look the form-ine. They’re two really good sprinters.

“We’re just hoping for a bit of luck and hoping the race pans out right.”

The Joe Pride-trained Terravista was narrowly beaten by Redzel in his spring return in a 1000m-Listed race at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week.

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