Here is the Transcript from a very interesting Interview I had with great Trainer Peter Gelagotis. I hope you may enjoy it!
Mark Burckhardt: Peter, good morning and welcome. It's so nice to catch up with you today. Your passion for the industry, determination and willpower to succeed is second to none. Can you tell us a little bit more about where it all started?
Peter Gelagotis: It started obviously from our parents who were migrants from Greece. They left their home country in difficult times and they come to Australia and they hung onto those strong values that they had in the post-war era. Particularly my dad, he was a very hard taskmaster, got a very passionate racing man, loved all codes and dabbled in each one and the latter being the thoroughbreds. He started the business. He was an owner and the property that we currently train from at Moe, was fairly set up for horses when Mom and Dad bought it. They decided, "I'm gonna have a go at this myself," and the business just grew from there. Then we are where we are today.
Mark Burckhardt: Look, you've achieved success at the highest level with some horses and recent times even with the Group One Weight For Age Champion Mourinho, Champion three year old Havistan and of course Malaguerra. What would you say would be your favourite horse you trained? What made those characteristics special to you?
Peter Gelagotis: Look, I'll always say Mourinho because obviously he's my first one, and it was a horse that we purchased ourselves as a yearling. It was always a tough battle with him. He showed great promise and delivered some early blows with victory, particularly in the Tasmanian Derby, which was, I think, probably the most second stakes winner at the time. I had a couple pride of that at least at level. But he was my first for the group winner. Tasmania. It was still great achievement. The horse had a lot of issues along the way. Sustained a tendon injury. He had that ability to regain soundness and also had longevity with him and to achieve what he did over a long period of time was sort of sits high up on my list of personal achievements and it's given me a lot of confidence going forward into handling these top end horses.
Mark Burckhardt: You've achieved so much in racing, but what would be your greatest goal or motivation that keeps driving you now? Is there any specific race that you'd want to win or is there any specific thing that you'd like to achieve that just keeps you driving, because all successful people or at least ... Most successful people have this goal that they place out there. Something to work towards. What would yours be if I were to ask you that question here and now?
Peter Gelagotis: Honestly, my motivation comes from the people that surround me. I'm very fortunate and blessed to have some very, very solid family people who have amazing persona, amazing work ethic, and I feel like I'm obligated to do well for these people because I see such success in what they do and how they present themselves and their families above foremost and above all else. I think you go to the rawness of life and life skills, it's an acquired skill. You lead and you experience and you become a better person and I find that's my motivation to do well for the people who believe in me, who support me unconditionally and I've been very fortunate over the years to have that comfort to train under those circumstances because it's a very tough industry to do it solely and holey, so we've always had a backup in our own business. There were years we were very self supportive of our horse business, but as we've gained success we've gained the support of some very good owners and those people are successful people, motivated people. That's all rubbed off on me. Given me that drive to be who I am today.
Mark Burckhardt: I totally respect that Peter. That's one of the things that draw me towards yourself. It's a passion that you show and a sense of obligation that you're talking about for the people who are around you, who work with you, who were raced with you. I had that same feeling for myself and it goes beyond the actual horses themselves or your own personal goals. It's about the people around you who really make it special, isn't it? Yeah.
Peter Gelagotis: Absolutely. My parents always had these little sayings. God bless my father. He's passed away now. Nearly five years since he passed away. Him and mom always had little sayings. My father used to always say, "Son, one piece of string breaks very easily, but if you combine ten pieces of string, they don't break. It takes a lot more to break." What I'm alluding to is strength in numbers.
Mark Burckhardt: Yes.
Peter Gelagotis: When you're a united group you are a force to be reckoned with and if you have people supporting you that way it's amazing. And from a managerial side of things, my father use to say to me, and obviously my mom, "Don't let money be your motivation. Let your actions speak for you." So you know, put in an honest days work and you'll always get an honest days pay. So these are the things I stuck to Mark – Simple/Stupid, and it works. It's been a key and a catalyst in my rise in the ranks in this wonderful and colourful sport we all try to participate and be successful at.
Mark Burckhardt: We're really excited to have that alliance we've built with you now. With Regal Bloodstock. I'm really excited to bring these horses across to you. Our Reward for Effort colt and our Testa Rossa Filly. What do you think about these two yearlings that have come across to you? You were there with me at the sales. Were you quite impressed with what you saw?
Peter Gelagotis: Absolutely. And the bonus is that they’re VOBIS GOLD qualified horses. So you're covering bases. You're giving prospective clients from your behalf I believe, the opportunity that if you have the pleasure early, you can make some solid in roads to return on your capital. Both of these horses at the moment are at the Breakers – Julien Welsh at Booralite Park. From all reports, they're going along nicely and everything is positive. I think that sale is a very lucrative sale. Obviously Malaguerra came through that sale and there's these opportunities there. I think on your behalf, it's very, very clever purchasing to give them, your prospective clients, the opportunity to possibly get a little bit better average return on investment. And the fact that you've chosen us, I hope in time we can only enhance what you're trying to set out to achieve and we can do it again. United. Together. And be a force to be reckoned with in our own right, or in your own right for that matter.
Mark Burckhardt: Well certainty and I do remember from that sale, we did go ... as we were talking about the team thing, I do remember we all went in as a team to bid for those two horses at the styles and it certainly was a great result. Peter, I really thank you so much for your time today. It's just really great to have you on board with us at Regal Bloodstock.
Peter Gelagotis: I would say that's reciprocated by many and myself. I think the way you conduct yourself and the way you've gone about your business is very professional and I think anybody that wants to get associated with yourself and your brand, I think they can't go wrong. Like I said before, we thank you immensely and hopefully there's a little bit divine intervention above to give our horses the longevity and soundness above all and foremost. And if they got the ability, we've been in the game long enough now that we can do a job and happily present these horses come race day and enjoy some success together.
Mark Burckhardt: Well I have no doubt you'll be able to get the best out of them. And thanks again for today.
Peter Gelagotis: Mark, it's a pleasure. Thank you.
Mark Burckhardt: Thanks Peter. Thank you.