Module's Bagot win a result for good design
Craig Newitt riding Module wins the Bagot Handicap. Photo: Getty Images
THE instincts of trainer Peter Gelagotis were proved correct at Flemington on Tuesday when his lightly raced stayer Module won the $150,000 Bagot Handicap.
Moe-based Gelagotis, who bought Module 18 months ago from Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams, always had designs on the seven-year-old as he was certain he had the potential to cope with the Flemington 2500 metres.
His instincts were well founded with Module coming with a powerful burst in the closing stages to defeat some of the state's more seasoned stayers.
''I always had that feeling in the back of my mind that he would have the ability to get up to the distance, so I thought this race would be ideal,'' he said.
''It was an added bonus as Craig [Newitt] rang me hours after his last run [fourth on December 22 at Flemington] to be on him. He obviously showed Craig that this race was well and truly in his grasp so that built up our confidence quite a bit.''
The country stayer had some support in the market, firming from $18 into $15 late in betting, and proved too strong for Crafty Cruiser ($8.50), with King Diamond $7.50 finishing third.
Boosting Gelagotis' elation with Module's win was the fact the horse had overcome several physical problems during his preparation.
''There's no secret he's got his issues and we just dealt with those issues as they came along. But as I've always said, if you just keep chipping away you will end up succeeding with those issues,'' he said.
''I've always liked the horse, we were rapt to get him and I was pleased today for all of the people behind the scenes who had worked so hard.''
Newitt was just as impressed with Module's winning performance. ''I liked his last run, I thought he would stay and I thought also that it was an even field which presented him with a great chance,'' he said.
Gelagotis said he was keen to continue Module racing after the Bagot success, but didn't know in what direction to head.
''I'd like to strike while the iron is hot. He's fit and well and we'll probably have a look at some races in Sydney perhaps, but at this stage I'm fairly open minded,'' he said.
''It's interesting really, I think I've won two or three races at Flemington on New Year's Day in the past and the same has happened again today.''
Later in the day, the Danny O'Brien-trained Adamantium may have become a straight six specialist after he scored in the feature sprint, the Standish Handicap.
O'Brien admitted after the race that while Adamantium had always been a horse of great talent, he may have pushed him too far in distance when he was a three-year-old.
''I think we ran him in the Guineas and that was just too far for him, but we've never doubted he's a very good sprinter,'' O'Brien said.
''He won the other day up the straight and then today he was very good leading throughout, and I think from now on, pure sprinting will be his forte.''
Adamantium never gave his rivals a chance after establishing a big lead mid-race to give Newitt the Standish-Bagot feature double.
Adamantium firmed from $7 to $5.50 and was too strong for last year's Standish winner Catapulted at $2.20, while the Bart Cummings-trained Goldstone was third at $21.
Former champion Hong Kong sprinter Good Ba Ba made a stunning return to racing with his fourth in the Standish Handicap.
Having not raced for 18 months, the 11-year-old recorded the fastest closing sectionals, with trainer Rick Hore-Lacy to consider races such as the Carylon Cup at Caulfield during the autumn.