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Pilote has won two of his past three starts to potentially book a trip to the Gold Coast

The Kevin Corstens stable has plans of chasing a bigger prize on the Gold Coast early in the New Year after the win of Pilote at Geelong.

The heavily backed Pilote took out the Bet365 Odds Drift Protect Handicap (2200m) on Wednesday in emphatic fashion.

Sent out the $1.65 favourite under the guidance of Billy Egan, Pilote scored a soft 3-¼ length win from Inthelapofthegods ($9) with Milestone ($4.60) a further 1-½ lengths away third.

Will Larkin, representing the Corstens stable, said the stable hoped to get Pilote to the $1 million Magic Millions Subzero (2400m) at the Gold Coast on January 15.

“We always thought he would reach Saturday class off the back of the spring,” Larkin said.

“Last preparation was all about getting him back from a tendon injury and this preparation he’s had no faults and we’ve been able to do things, step him out in distances and get him to his right trip.

“Ideally we would like to get him up to the Gold Coast for a Magic Millions run.

“There’s a 2400-metre race up there. It looks a good one to have on the cards.”

Larkin said there were some minor concerns pre-race that the small field may not run along quickly enough for the son of Pierro.

“But they ran along in front a bit,” Larkin said.

“I thought they might have backed the tempo off and he might have got a bit keen, but he was able to hold the main danger in and it was easy from the corner.”

Egan said he had been impressed by the improvement Pilote had made.

He said the gelding’s last start when just touched out by Mr Cancun at Sandown showed the jockey he was on the right track.

“I always thought he might have been a bit basic beating midweek horses, but when he went to Sandown last time, he found a better one and went with it,” Egan said.

“If there’s one there, he showed he can fight which might take him to a higher grade.”

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