Portelli on the Trail for Melbourne Gold

Sydney trainer Gary Portelli has confirmed that his progressive sprinter Gold Trail will be given a two-start Melbourne crusade to see out this racing season, the rising seven-year-old looking to return to their former Group 1 winning form.

An internationally-tried son of Hussonet, Gold Trail has won seven of their 28 career starts to date including an elite level victory in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) in New Zealand in January 2010.

The Railway win was also Gold Trail’s last track triumph, the horse having started just five times since and failing to finish better than fourth.

Midway through last year Gold Trail was sent overseas after running fifth to Shellscrape in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick in April.

First the horse appeared in Singapore where they ran a credible fourth beaten three lengths by Green Birdie in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m).

Gold Trail then travelled to Europe where during the Royal Ascot carnival they were unable to impress finishing a disappointing 10th in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1005m) last June, the horse suffering a torn hindquarter muscle in the process.

Given a well-deserved spell of nearly a year to recover from their travels and injury, Gold Trail resumed racing in Australia on May 28 during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and put in an encouraging effort.

At their sole start this prep they showed they still had plenty of ability when finishing just half a length away fourth to Gundy Son in the Listed Chief De Beers (1100m) at Doomben, a brave result after being forced to race wide throughout from their double digit barrier.

“It’s a case of so far so good with him,” Portelli said in regards to the recouped runner.

On Tuesday Gold Trial was the impressive eight length winner in a 1200m trail at the home track at Warwick Farm, beating home the Matthew Smith-trained stablemates Millie Milou and Salonika who were the only other two horses in the hit-out.

“It was disappointing there were only three in the trial because he’s better when there is something going with him,” Portelli said.

“If you hold him up he can’t quicken.

“He needs to go along at high cruising speed.”

Now two end-of-season starts in Victoria are on the cards, Portelli pencilling in both the $100,000 Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 16 and $125,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) on July 30 for his nearly $600,000 earner.

“They both look perfect races for him,” Portelli said.