apprentice jockey and current rookie trainer George Christodoulou experienced his greatest
thrill in racing and provided one of Flemingtons biggest recent upsets when Levendiz
powered home for a thrilling win in the Mittys Handicap (1200m) at Melbournes
premier track yesterday.
Starting on course at $71
and paying more than $96 on SuperTAB, Levendiz who was unlucky at Sandown last start
caused a boilover result.
Christodoulou, who bred and owns the colt with his wife,
formerly trained at Pakenham before a move was required a couple of years ago.
"I did have my horses at Pakenham but I had to shift
when the stables they were in were sold and the new owners didnt want any renters in
there," Christodoulou recalled. "So were now based at Yarra Glen."
Levendiz, a son of the Victorian based stallion Lacryma
Cristi, started at huge odds despite quite a good run behind Keldance at Sandown late last
"He was terribly unlucky last start, he should have
bolted in," Christodoulou recalled. "He missed the start and hit his head on the
gates and then was a mile back, giving the eventual winner about twelve lengths on the
"At the finish he was only two lengths from the
winner, so it was a really, really good run," he added.
Levendiz is one of four horses in the Yarra Glen stables,
but until Saturday was the only one currently in training.
Christodoulou said the excessive costs of training a horse
had prevented him from having his other three horses in preparation for the racetrack.
"Id decided that Levendiz was probably the best
of the four and we was put in work to hopefully win some races and get some money coming
in," the excited trainer explained.
Levendiz, who before Saturday had placed in two of his
eight starts, gave Christodoulou his first winner as a trainer yesterday.
In an ironic twist it was however not the first winner as
an owner for the former short time apprentice jockey. Hed owned a few winners, the
best was trained by Bart Cummings. As if scripted for a fairytale the previous race was
captured by the "Cups King."
Levendiz, a three-year-old colt, got home in a thrilling
finish with Peter Mertens throwing everything at him to nab the Terry OSullivan
trained Malu right on the post. Blue Wina was only a handful of centimetres away in third