Manny and Peter Gelagotis (Image: Karl Kaldawi)
A last-minute decision to keep Call Me Handsome in the field for Saturday's Ladbrokes Cash In Handicap (1600m) paid dividends for connections when the imported gelding broke through for a deserved metropolitan win.
After three luckless placings at Caulfield during June and July, the six-year-old atoned at The Valley with a narrow win over the fast-finishing Rhythm To Spare, maintaining his perfect 1600-metre record in the process.
But connections' post-race jubilation was mixed with regret as it was revealed that regular jockey Chris Symons was a casualty of the 11th hour decision to run, unable to make the 54kg handicap and replaced by Dwayne Dunn on race morning.
Trainer Peter Gelagotis revealed he had all but scratched the son of Kodiac but was convinced otherwise by his brother, stable racing manager Manny Gelagotis.
"Sorry to Chrissy Symons back home, my sincerest apologies, it was a last-minute decision to run the horse," Peter Gelagotis said.
"He text me last night to see if we were going to run and I told him we were going to scratch so the poor bugger had a meal and couldn't make the weight today.
"It was a tough call from barrier one, I was a touch negative about the whole equation but Manny said we should chance our arm because there was good speed and it could pan out for us."
WATCH: Hear from Gelagotis
Call Me Handsome could now target the Group 2 Dato' Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on September 8 according to the Moe horseman, who believes the former Hong Kong-trained galloper has all the qualities of a Stakes-grade horse.
"We've got a really big opinion of him, he's shown us good quality as a horse going forward," he said.
"It was very heart warming to see him do really well here because he could be a cheeky chance in a Dato' (Tan Chin Nan Stakes).
"He can run sectionals, he can run time and that's what you need to do in those big races."
WATCH: Call Me Handsome's win