She Will Reign Takes Owners On Fairytale Ride

Mar 18, 2017

She Will Reign is the Cinderella filly who fit the Golden Slipper.

A $20,000 yearling purchase, she was the cheapest runner in the world’s richest juvenile race, worth a staggering $3.5 million.

And She Will Reign was not just making up the numbers in the Longines Golden Slipper, she won it.

“It is an incredible feeling. I’ve won a few Group 1s but this is my first major. I had to pinch myself going across the line. She is an exceptional filly,” Ben Melham, She Will Reign’s jockey said afterwards.

“She is a little sweetheart. Really, maid my job easy. I was happy to follow the fence and when I come on the back of Houtzen on the corner and come under the pump, I thought she’s all over now.”Houtzen on the corner and come under the pump, I thought she’s all over now.”maid my job easy. I was happy to follow the fence and when I come on the back of Houtzen on the corner and come under the pump, I thought she’s all over now.”

She Will Reign’s triumph will challenge be the sports rags-to-riches story of the year.

Her group of owners are just ordinary everyday Australians — there’s the builder, salesman, five old footy teammates, the unemployed housewife, carpenter, three coalminers, podiatrist, teacher, landscaper, hospital worker, two small businessmen, ice cream factory worker, nurse, family carer and retiree.

For the second year in succession, Darby Blockstock has been responsible for the purchase of the cheapest Golden Slipper runner.

Last year, $10,000 filly Yankee Rose ran second to Capitalist.

Known for his astute preparation of two-year-olds, the victory is Portelli’s first success in Sydney’s signature race and a welcome reward, having missed out with six previous starters.

Frolic and Menari filled out the minor placings.

“Syndicates like the one Scott Darby (of Darby Bloodstock) has put together with She Will Reign is a good advertisement for racing,’’ Portelli said.

“This filly and her owners give everyone the confidence that racing isn’t dominated by the top end. It proves you are still a chance.’’

For the second year in succession, Darby has been responsible for the purchase of the cheapest Golden Slipper runner. Last year, his $10,000 filly Yankee Rose ran second to Capitalist.

“I know punting is the biggest thing that drives racing but syndications are great for the sport because it gets so many people involved,’’ Darby said. “Most of the people in She Will Reign are first-time owners.’’

One of the filly’s owners is Blake Stubbings, a carpenter by trade who together with his friend Brendan Craig, own five per cent of the Golden Slipper hopeful.

“I am loving every minute of this journey and am so glad to do it with my best mate who I have known all my life — it is the best feeling in the world!” Stubbings said.

Craig said the adrenalin rush he experiences on race day is “a one of a kind feeling”.

Trainer Gary Portelli with She Will Reign.

“To have a horse in the Golden Slipper and one of the favourites is simply incredible,’’ he said earlier this week.

Shane O’Brien and his mates, Mark Lowe, Michael Pes, Kevin Fisher and Tom Casey played rugby league together years ago and decided to get into their first racehorse with She Will Reign.

“We’re all tradesman, carpenter, electricians, painter, insulation,’’ O’Brien said. “For most of us, this is our first horse. One of our crew owned a ‘donkey’ years ago that ran last at Bong Bong.

“We can’t believe we have a Slipper favourite! We would have been happy to have a maiden winner at Kembla.’’

Michael Tobin, a registered nurse, said owning a horse as good as She Will Reign is “like winning Lotto”.

“This is a horse I have always dreamt of owning but thought I never would,’’ he said. “It has energised all my family and friends and my wife’s work colleagues in the best possible way.

“My wife is thinking of changing her name from Lorraine to Lareign!’’

Landscaper Jason Cameron owned shares in five horses prior to She Will Reign but his only winner was in outback Queensland.

“After the first few didn’t do much good I had everyone saying ‘cut your losses’, including my wife,’’ Cameron said. “But she has gone from saying ‘how’s your horse going’ to ‘OMG look how good our horse is’.

“I said to everyone I’ll keep owning a horse until I get a good one and here we are. The journey we are currently on is something I’ll take to my grave.’’

News from Ray Thomas, Daily Telegraph