MALAGUERRA’S first-up tilt at Friday night’s Manikato Stakes comes firmly under the long- term project heading.
Stable manager Manny Gelagotis said he had this race in mind for Malaguerra at the start of the year and everything he had done with him had been aimed at winning.
Malaguerra hasn’t started since he finished 10th in last year’s Darley Classic. Before that he had finished third in last year’s Manikato Stakes.
“He goes so well first-up we wanted to target a good race. There were a couple on the agenda but we knew some time ago we wanted to get him to this race,” Gelagotis said.
“Look at his first-up record and he also holds the track record.”
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Malaguerra has had six first-up starts for four wins and a second.
Gelagotis said they had given Malaguerra a long build up for his return to racing.
The trainer has been moving Malaguerra between properties, with stints of a couple of months at each.
Malaguerra will contest the Manikato Stakes first-up.Source:HeraldSun
He said Malaguerra had spent time at Lee Evision’s Longwarry property and also at their Coronet Bay stables.
“He has been jarring up badly. We wanted to try a different way to train him,’’ Gelagotis explained.
“He’s been in and out of work but he’s in great order and is a happy horse. The way he went in both of his trials suggest he’s like the Malaguerra of old.”
Malaguerra is a dual Group 1 winner and also took out the Group 2 Australia Stakes at the Valley in January last year.
“We’re mindful he hasn’t raced since last spring but we’ve looked after him,” Gelagotis said. “If the track is playing fair he should get a good run in transit and if the breaks come his way he should go close.”
Originally published as Malaguerra set for Manikato ambush
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