Moe horse trainer Peter Gelagotis says his recent win in the million dollar Darley Classic at Flemington on Stakes Day is the racing equivalent to winning an Olympic gold medal.
The decorated trainer called the win in the Group 1 race on 5 November with Malaguerra “the pinnacle of my CV to date”.
The win comes on the back of his Derby Day triumph with Illustrious Lad in the Group 2 Stakes.
“That was on Derby Day and turn the clock over a week and we win the group one feature race with Malaguerra on Stakes Day,” Gelagotis said.
“I don’t think there’s been many country trainers with a small team and a small boutique stable like I run to have had that pleasure.
“It’s like the Olympic Games – you toil for years and you work hard to be somebody.
“You’re on the world stage – our Spring Racing Carnival is televised all over the world and you get horses from all over the world who come to participate.”
The win with Malaguerra’s marks Peter Gelagotis Racing’s second Group 1 victory, following Mourinho’s success in the 2015 Underwood Stakes.
Malaguerra narrowly edged out Spieth to take the win, but Gelagotis said he had no doubt the five-year-old gelding would get over the line.
“He’s a winner… that’s his biggest asset,” he said.
“He’s obviously got an engine inside him but more so he’s got the mental fortitude to give you that extra one or two or three per cent.
“I don’t think he was going to let that horse go past him – he doesn’t take prisoners.”
Malaguerra’s next assignment is the Group 1 Winterbottom Classic at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse.
Gelagotis and Melaguerra have already made the trip west and the trainer said his horse was settling in well.
He said he hoped his victories at Flemington would reflect well on Gippsland.
“(My brother) Manny and I are very grateful for being able to have those opportunities with nice horses,” Gelagotis said.
“At the end of the day we get paid to do a job and that’s expected of us.
“But it’s amazing to have that calibre of horse in our care – it’s a great story for Gippsland.
“I find it inspiring for any prospective owners that exist in Gippsland to hopefully have their horses locally – not just with us but with all our fellow trainers that work hard in Gippsland.”
The Winterbottom Stakes will be staged on 26 November at Ascot Racecourse.