Leading Trainer Peter Gelagotis was all smiles when he produced the very smart Illustrious Lad to win in good fashion at Morphettville on the weekend . Punters that supported the colt had their hearts in their mouths in the early stages of the Boxing Day Family Races at Morphettville Plate (1000m) before he delivered an early blow to bookies in the Morphettville opener on Saturday landing big bets Australia wide firming from Thursday's price of 4.20 to start a rock solid favourite at 2.80.
"We travelled here thinking we had a strong winning chance but with first starters it is always the risk not knowing how they will handle the occasion and he nearly made a meal of the start which surprised me and Josh however showed the class to overcome adversity and win like a horse going places" said Peter Gelagotis
Illustrious Lad started pigrooting under the guidance of 3kg claimer Josh Cartwright from the outset however ceased his antics and was travelling back towards the tail of the field of seven runners with Cartwright showing great composure beyond his years to get the horse back into rhythm and then proceeded to pinch runs along the rails before arriving at the home turn with only the leaders Manhattan Prince and Midnight Song in advance and once balanced knuckled down strong late to be far too strong winning by ¾ length which could have been far greater barring the early behaviour by the horse from the barriers.
"His trials have been positive however at Sale the 2nd time he trialled it was farcical in a 3 horse trial where the competitors pulled out of the trial forcing our horse to go around on his own which was disappointing but thankfully the Tuesday before he ran his gallop was exceptional and proved he was ready to compete and a decent level so the confidence levels were high and the horse has thrived once the real pressure came on so we were hoping he would do what he did in Adelaide and will only improve going forward – it was a great ride by young Josh Cartwright " said Peter Gelagotis
A $40,000 purchase from the daft of Yarraman Park at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sales Illustrious Lad was purchased by stable client Anthony Panozzo who coincidently raced his mother Industrious with Lindsay Park where she was group placed and was a good performer so it was a very sentimental victory as she died recently and this colt was her first live foal so there was some emotion involved in the success for some of the owners involved.
Illustrious Lad will now be freshened and be prepared for a tilt at the Blue Diamond in the coming months at Caulfield starting with the Preludes.