MALAGUERRA, owned by retired Bicton fisherman Bruno Micalizzi, will start as favourite in Saturday’s $1 million Winterbottom Stakes.
The Victoria-trained sprinter is named after a fearsome Sicillian warrior who triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds in a battle more than 1600 years ago.
On Saturday, the odds will be in the five-year-old gelding’s favour after drawing barrier one in the 12-runner field.
Malaguerra has impressed in two spring starts, finishing second to Star Turn at Caulfield back in October before winning from Spieth at Flemington in his last start on November 5.
Jockey Ben Melham was in the saddle for both of those rides and will again pilot Malaguerra on Saturday.
According to the bookies, Malaguerra’s biggest danger in the 12-runner Winterbottom Stakes is Terravista, another Group One-winning galloper with local connections.
Terravista’s trainer, Joseph Pride, has nursed the world’s former top-ranked speedster back to fitness after feet issues hampered his autumn campaign.
Pride’s nickname for Terravista is ‘WBS’; world’s best sprinter.