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Illustrious carnival win for Gelagotis

Peter Gelagotis has Group One aspirations for Illustrious Lad after a stakes race win at Flemington on Victoria Derby day.

Gelagotis is eyeing The Goodwood at Morphettville in May after Illustrious Lad provided Gelagotis with his first winner at the Melbourne Cup carnival.

Ridden by Anthony Darmanin, Illustious Lad ($14) scored by 1-1/4 lengths from Counterattack ($7) on Saturday, with the $3.70 favourite Southern Legend a half-neck away in third.

“Last time in I tipped him out when I thought he’d be a cracking Goodwood horse because his Adelaide form is amazing,” Gelagotis said.

“I think I’m still going to lean that way as I think it’s still a realistic target.”

Gelagotis says it is likely the five-year-old will be given a short break before a possible start in the Standish Handicap at Flemington on New Year’s Day.

Gelagotis said Illustrious Lad was the unlucky runner when a last start second at Caulfield on October 12 coming off back-to-back wins at Morphettville.

Illustrious Lad was interfered with by a riderless horse before finishing second, beaten two lengths.

But Gelagotis went into Saturday’s full of confidence.

“This is a dream of mine to win a race during the spring carnival which I haven’t been able to do before,” Gelagotis said.

“I’ve had a few close seconds and a few thirds and finally I’ve cracked it for a winner.”

Darmanin had his first winner on Derby day, and his first Group Two win, soured by a $750 fine for excessive use of the whip.

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