The three-year-old son of Tavistock was the racing story of 2020, as he entered the Victoria Derby as a maiden but left Flemington on October 31 as a Group 1 winner.
Pagan coached 344 AFL matches for North Melbourne and Carlton, leading the Kangaroos to premierships in 1996 and 1999, but Johnny Get Angry’s run on the last Saturday of October might be the pick of his sporting triumphs to date.
Pagan revealed on Monday that a big spring was being planned for his progressive Derby winner, with a tilt at the Melbourne Cup set to be his new grand final.
The 73-year-old has said in the past that all he wanted to achieve as a horse trainer was to have a runner at Flemington, and he has achieved that feat on nine occasions already.
“To think I might have a horse that’s a chance to get a run in the Melbourne Cup is just mind-boggling for me,” he said.
Pagan has just the 10 horses under his care and only six in training, while Johnny Get Angry’s Derby win was just the 12th time he had saddled up a runner in an official thoroughbred race.