Dual Group 1 winner Malaguerra demonstrated his absolute class in rounding up the field around the home bend and dominantly winning the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
The five year-old son of Magnus was bred by the Sandown Lodge partnership of Lyn Armanasco and John Dickson and was foaled and raised at Pakenham South’s Ballarto Lodge.
Lyn (daughter of the great trainer Angus) and John (son of Alf) inherited Sandown Lodge from their respective parents. Lyn says Malaguerra is the best they have bred since taking the operation over.
“The dads would be smiling at us,” Lyn said when talking about Malaguerra’s success.
Ridden by Ben Melham, the Peter Gelagotis-trained gelding camped on the early speed set by Sirbible (God’s Own) before taking control in the straight and winning by two lengths.
Winner of the Group 1 Darley Classic at Flemington last November, Malaguerra equalled Miss Andretti’s track record of 1:09.29.
“Moonee Valley can be tricky, but the horse showed a lot of class,” said Gelagotis.
“In our mind, he was clearly the best horse in the race. He’s a multiple Group 1 winner.
“The horse is in rare form, and is a serious horse.”
The Sandown Lodge product will now be aimed at the Group 1 Orr Stakes and Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield in February.
Malaguerra is the flagbearing graduate of Inglis’ VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale having been knocked down to Bruno Micalizzi &Bluegrass Bloodstock for $32,000 at the 2013 sale,
That could only be described as a steal considering Malaguerra earnings now exceed $1.5 million!
The victory propelled Sun Stud sire Magnus into the Top 20 of Australian sires by earnings.
He is the 16th foal of the stakes-winning Bletchingly mare Tennessee Morn whose previous best had been the Listed stakes-winner Tennessee Midnight (Danehill), the dam of Group 1 Coolmore Classic winner Aloha (Encosta de Lago).
Tennessee Morn’s final foal, before she died in March last year, is the four year old Wanted colt Tennessee Outlaw.
Coincidentally, he became his dam’s 11th winner when capturing a maiden at Darwin at his second start on Australia Day.
Lyn Armanasco said the success of Malaguerra had resulted in a number of inquiries to herself and John about what Sandown Lodge has on offer this year at the sales.
“Even Bruno (Micalizzi, owner of Malaguerra) has asked ‘what have you got going through this year?’”
John and Lyn are thrilled with such inquiries as Sandown Lodge yearlings are being offered in four different sales across two different states.
This includes a Stratum colt out of stakes placed Enzed Girl, a member of the ‘Malaguerra family’. He will be sold through the Swettenham Stud draft at the Inglis Melbourne Prmier Yearling sale.