She Will Reign’s return gives Portelli a winter boost

Jun 10, 2017

Gary Portelli’s immediate focus will turn to Hawkesbury on Sunday but the Sydney trainer will have an extra spring in his step this week as Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign begins her quest for spring glory.

She Will Reign returned to Portelli’s stables last Friday looking more like a woman than a girl as she prepares for a tilt at the $10 million Everest this spring.

“I’ve seen a big change in her physically and that’s going to be a thing that I think most Slipper winners may not have had that chance,” Portelli said.

“Most horses would have been at their physical top when they won the Slipper but she looked like she was a foal when she won the Slipper and now she is much stronger.

“But you don’t want to get too cocky and sometimes horses can change physically but it can actually slow them down.”

Portelli said the star filly will most likely only have two runs in the spring — the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 29 and the $10 million Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.

Portelli revealed the star filly will need a new rider for her first start in the spring with regular rider Ben Melham unable to ride She Will Reign at 50kg in the Moir.

He has already seen a dietitian to set a long-range plan to ensure he can ride She Will Reign at 51kg in The Everest two weeks later.

“(Melham) can’t ride her in the Moir so I have to find a fill-in jockey for that race,” Portelli said. “We are not locking anyone in (for the Moir at this stage) and we will just see who is in good form and can ride light at the time.”

Meanwhile, Portelli will go in search for a winner when he saddles up three runners — Moccasin Miss (Race 2), Pure Rebel (Race 3) and Hutcho (Race 8) at Hawkesbury.

Mocassin Miss won her maiden at Wyong first-up before finishing seventh of seven at Kembla Grange last start.

“Mocassin Miss was disappointing last start and she has had a couple of goes at 1200m now and she hasn’t been able to run it out,” Portelli said. “We have kept her fresh for 1000m now and it looks a nice race for her and she has freshened up really well.

“I think she can bounce back and it might have even been that second-up syndrome (last start). She only got beat two lengths but she didn’t pick up and sprint like she should have.”

Portelli also made a solid case for Pure Rebel and Hutcho.

“Pure Rebel has his foot on the till,” he said. “It’s a fairly handy maiden but he works better than he races. I’m just hoping at one point the penny drops with him and he actually puts in.

“He works like a horse that has won half-a-dozen races and he is a very good trackworker.

“Hutcho won his only start on a heavy track but I don’t know if it was that heavy that day if you look at the time. They ran 1m10.3s so that might have been a bit misleading that rating.

“But he is a fit horse and he is ready for the trip and he is one of those horses that will lob when the right race presents itself.”

News from Daily Telegraph, Brad Davidson