Blevio counters Offensive to salute

Sep 19, 2018

As Charm Offensive loomed up ominously alongside Blevio in the Kembla Grange straight, Gary Portelli’s lightly-raced filly knuckled down for the fight.

The three-year-old had looked vulnerable on-speed in the Shoalhaven Ex-Servo's Excite Rewards App Maiden Handicap (1000m), but kicked strongly to fight off the challenge of Gwenda Markwell's well-fancied $1.50 favourite.

Blevio, ridden by Tommy Berry, edged out Charm Offensive by a nose, with Buoyancy two lengths away in third. The determined first-up performance had trainer Gary Portelli optimistic about his filly’s future.

“She was a filly that was highly immature last time through and wasn’t strong enough for the business, but she has come back so much stronger,” he told Sky Thoroughbred Central. “It’s good to get a win for Max Whitby and the team.

"Hopefully she can improve and keep going through her grades for them.”

The victory was the first in a winning double for Portelli, who had Sebring Express (race two) also salute.

[NB. In addition to the above published article, Gary Portelli trained a further winner at the meeting, Quick Finance in Race 6]