Spaceboy's Deep expectations
Nov 21, 2018
Following in the footsteps of his sire Deep Field, Spaceboy is expected to make a considerable impression when he debuts in the Golden Gift at Rosehill on Saturday.
In a Gosford maiden back in June 2014, Deep Field, now standing at Newgate, smashed his rivals by ten lengths, setting the scene for a career defined by blinding speed.
It is that characteristic which had buyers so excited about his first crop, with 131 of them sold at last season's yearling sales at an average of just over $137,000.
Gary Portelli was as big a fan as anyone and ended up with eight of them at his stables.
"They are the type of horse I really like." - Gary Portelli
Spaceboy was always the standout, as Portelli went to $200,000 to buy him at the Magic Millions.
"I like them on type. They are the type of horse I really like," Portelli told RSN.
"With this horse it was a little bit different, because he was out of a three-quarter sister to Testashadow (Testa Rossa). I had that family in the background as well."
"I thought he was going to be a bit more than that because there were a few good judges swirling around as he came into the ring, but we stretched ourselves to $200,000 to get him."
"I don’t usually like to spend that much, but I liked him that much, I was hoping to get him home and we were pretty excited when we did and even more excited when we galloped him."
The lid is off
On the strength of a recent six-length trial win, Spaceboy is already on the third line of betting for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January.
His dominant performance at Warwick Farm drew immediate comparisons with his sire and while Portelli is trying to keep the lid on, he is very excited about what Spaceboy is capable of.
"Everything he has shown at home and in the jumpouts and the trials, he's pretty natural," he said.
"Ever since we first jumped him out, he hit the ground running." - Gary Portelli
"Deep Field was a very fast horse as you know. He won all of his races leading, He's got natural speed too. Ever since we first jumped him out, he hit the ground running. He did it in the trial, he took a couple of strides, but then he was off and gone."
By no means does Portelli expect his first assignment to be easy.
James Cummings has Astern's (Medaglia D'Oro) half-brother Tassort (Brazen Beau) entered, while Gerald Ryan is set to debut Cardiff (Snitzel), who has won his two trials easily.
"I'm looking forward to the weekend, we’ll know what we've got," Portelli said. "It’s a pretty strong race. Everyone that has got a runner in the race has got a fair wrap on their horse. It will be a genuine form race going forward."
"It will be a genuine form race going forward." - Gary Portelli
"We think we've got the right horse, but you just don’t know until raceday."
Wealth of 2YO talent
Portelli already has an embarrassment of 2-year-old riches this season, with Time To Reign (Time For War) back in the paddock readying for the G1 Golden Slipper S. after two wins from as many starts.
When asked to compare the two, Portelli said Spaceboy is more a natural running 2-year-old.
"I think they are pretty similar, just different attitudes," he said.
"Time to Reign is not the bravest of horses, while he was out in front doing his thing, he had the brakes on and was looking at everything. He didn’t really know what he was out for, but this fella, he'd run through a brick wall for you."
"The difference between the two is this horse is braver than the other guy, but until you get to raceday, you just don’t know."
While a shot at the Magic Millions 2YO Classic would appeal, Portelli said he would wait to see how Spaceboy comes through his debut first before making a decision.
Spaceboy is the first foal from Miatoko (Danzero), a six-time winner who is a half-sister to stakes-placed Miss Antaeus as well as Moonlight Show, the dam of Portelli's stakes-winner Testashadow.
That trio are out of stakes-placed Crestfallen, who is a half-sister to Zouzou, the dam of Widden Stud's boom sire Zoustar.