Portelli unconcerned by the likely heavy Randwick surface

Mar 03, 2017

One trainer who is not fazed by the wet weather or the possibility of a postponed Randwick race meeting tomorrow is Gary Portelli, who prepares Golden Slipper Stakes favourite She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain).

The unbeaten filly, who came from last to win the Silver Slipper Stakes, is set to have her final lead up to the Golden Slipper in the Reisling Stakes tomorrow.

Portelli told ANZ Bloodstock News yesterday the Reisling Stakes was the only Golden Slipper Stakes lead up option he wanted for She Will Reign and did not enter the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale graduate for the Black Opal Stakes.

“I was pretty adamant we were going to run this week (in the Reisling Stakes) and if we didn’t we’d have to worry about it later,” Portelli said.

“I didn’t want to go Canberra and I thought we’d just stick to the plan. Either way, if she didn’t race (at Randwick) and they called the meeting off I probably wouldn’t run her (anywhere), I’d just look to trial her next Friday at Warwick Farm
“If she had a good solid 800 metre barrier trial then she would be right.”

Portelli said She Will Reign’s regular jockey Ben Melham had suggested not running the filly until the Golden Slipper after her dominant Silver Slipper Stakes win.

”Our jockey thought we might not have needed another run, and that’s been done before with Sebring and Ha Ha, but I think she is a horse who thrives on racing,” the Warwick Farm-based trainer said.

“The fortnight between the trial to the (first up) run, a fortnight to this run and then a fortnight to the Slipper is perfect. If the meeting was moved to Monday, then it won’t make any difference, it’s only a couple of days.”

Portelli is unconcerned by the likely heavy Randwick surface tomorrow for She Will Reign, who has drawn barrier six in a field of eight will move in one if Houtzen, who has drawn five, is scratched as expected.

“We get first go of the track, so we aren’t going to be going around on a ploughed paddock and risking twisting a fetlock or something like that,” he said.

“I was just talking to Ben (about the heavy track) and he said, ‘mate, she ran 58.5 seconds on a heavy track at her second start in a race, so it shouldn’t be a problem’.”

Portelli said She Will Reign’s preparation had gone smoothly since her last-to-first Silver Slipper Stakes victory.

“Touch wood, it’s been like clockwork so far. She had a nice little gallop over 1000 metres on Tuesday,” he said.

“It was probably a slow track on Tuesday at Warwick and she was very relaxed when she worked with another horse on the course proper and quickened when she had to. She had an easy three quarter pace hit out over 800 metres (yesterday) and she is good to go.”

News from ANZ Bloodstock News, Image: Daryl Duckworth