Secret Lady wins barrier trial

Dec 23, 2017

Gary Portelli’s plan to teach Secret Lady a bit more about race craft has fallen flat with the filly doing her own thing in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm.

The trainer had the two-year-old in a heat on Tuesday against older horses, hoping they would jump too strongly for her and she would be able to settle behind the speed with cover.

But Secret Lady had other ideas and visiting Melbourne jockey Ben Melham was forced to let her find the front shortly after the start and she went on to win the trial.

“Ben went with her because he didn’t want to fight her,” Portelli said.

“It’s a bit disappointing because we were trying to educate her and nothing came out of it except she is a high-class galloper.”

Melham will return to Sydney on December 30 to ride Secret Lady in an 1100m-race at Randwick ahead of the $2 million Magic Millions Classic two weeks later.

Portelli said there were similarities between Secret Lady and her Golden Slipper-winning stablemate She Will Reign at the same stage of their careers.

“There are a lot of comparisons between the two fillies except we have managed to get She Will Reign to settle back,” he said.

“For now Secret Lady just wants to run.”

Melham, who rode She Will Reign to win the Slipper in March, got re-acquainted with the filly at her Warwick Farm stable but her regular track rider was aboard for her morning work-out.

Secret Lady is at $15 for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast on January 13 with the Tony Gollan-trained Ef Troop the $4.60 favourite.