It's time: Portelli plotting to reign again in Slipper

Oct 25, 2018

Gary Portelli will skip the Magic Millions to concentrate on the Golden Slipper with She Will Reign's half-brother Time To Reign, which made a mess of his rivals on debut at Randwick on Saturday.

There may be little similarity between Portelli's latest two-year-old protege and his former Golden Slipper heroine, but the Warwick Farm trainer is eyeing a similar result after Time To Reign ($3.70) skipped through the wet track to close in on a spot in the world's richest two-year-old race.

The $325,000 Magic Millions yearling was wayward down the straight in the Kirkham Plate (1000m) after catching a glimpse of the big screen in the infield but still had a comfortable 2¾ lengths to spare from Bivouac ($4.00). Evening Slippers ($3.20 fav) was a length further back in third

"That's the Slipper winner, there you go," Portelli said, tongue in cheek. "I've been told by the owners to say it. If we can get him qualified for the Slipper, my God, look out.

"When I bought him he was still a bit on the small side, but you can't believe how much this horse has grown since I've had him. He's growing into a magnificent type."

Portelli's insistence Time To Reign chase a spot in the Golden Slipper at the expense of a Gold Coast campaign is likely to see the Time For War colt run in the Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival.
The trainer and Time To Reign's owners have already got an eye on the Silver Slipper, a traditional Golden Slipper lead-up won by She Will Reign in 2017.

Rachel King had little cause for concern as her mount burst from the barriers and didn't give anything else a chance, having earlier heeded advice from She Will Reign's regular rider Ben Melham, who rode Time To Reign in his only barrier trial at Warwick Farm.

"That going sideways up the straight was just him being green," King said. "There's no nastiness in him and he's doesn't have a quirk in him. He'll be a lot better next time.

"It was a big ask him for him to come somewhere else. He just spotted the screen halfway up the straight and he was staring at that the whole way. If one had come to me he was going to go again. He had plenty left.

"He's got a very good action and I can't see why he wouldn't do the same on a good track."

Adam Pengilly - Sydney Morning Herald - 20 Oct 2018