Sydney trainer Gary Portelli has confirmed the new season campaign of his promising Group winning colt I’m All The Talk will kick off in Melbourne with their early performances to determine their grand final goals for the spring.
A lightly-raced son of Stratum, the rising three-year-old previously raced under the name All The Talk but underwent a title change back in April.
While they are yet to have their Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign set in stone, Portelli is sure he wants to kick things off in Victoria and not the youngster’s home state.
To date the horse has had six career starts, all in Sydney, producing two victories.
Their most notable win was a flying three and a half length effort over Octane Flyer when they finally encountered a suitably firm track during the autumn in the Group 3 Skyline Stakes (1200m).
That victory followed a brave fourth to Sweet Idea on a Heavy (9) Rosehill track in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).
On the back of their breakthrough Group victory Portelli and co. paid them up for the world’s richest two-year-olds race – the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in early April.
However a horror gate (11 of 16) and a soft track (Slow 7) meant they could only manage to finish seven lengths away 10th to the Gai Waterhouse-trained filly Overreach.
I’m All The Talk has been in the paddock since doing some maturing and is nearing their return with Portelli aiming them for a first-up run in the $120,000 Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 17.
“That looks a nice race for him,” Portelli told RSN’s Racing Ahead Wednesday.
“He can be a little bit vulnerable first up, so I want to have him fit for a first up attack down there and maybe even get him down there a little bit early and give him a look at Caulfield.”
While they can be vulnerable first-up Portelli is pleased with how the colt has come through their spell and said that this time in they wouldn’t be stretched distance wise.
“He’s just a big, powerful colt and he’s got it all ahead of him,” Portelli said.
“He was a younger two-year-old, he was a real playful, amorous sort of a horse and he wasn’t concentrating, but now he’s come back you can see the big difference. He knows what he’s here for.
“The way he went at Warwick Farm, when he won the Skyline by four, shows that he’s got the potential to win a good race.
“We’ll just sit down and work out a program after he run in the Vain Stakes. We’ll work out which is the best way to go based on how his performance is.”
Among the major spring options for them are the likes of $220,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in early September which would make a lovely lead-up to something like the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) held back at the track on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 2, during the famous Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Portelli is also looking at bringing his California Dane colt Rebel Dane to Melbourne this spring, the rising four-year-old not having raced since their 10th to star colt Pierro in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Golden Slipper Day.
Fourth to current Cox Plate favourite It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) the start before that, Rebel Dane also won the Gorup 2 Royal Sovereing Stakes (1200m) in mid February and was just nudged out of the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) win when going down a mere nose to Pierro.
“He went out weighing 440 kilos and he came back weighing 480 and since he’s been in he’s actually gone up to 488,” Portelli said of Rebel Dane.
“He’s really, really well and his trackwork’s been great.
“Last preparation showed he won’t get further than 1400 (metres), so we’re going to take it one run at a time.
“Being the sort of horse that does lighten off, we can space his runs, which I think that will be good for him.”
Likely to feature in both the Sydney and Melbourne sprints, Rebel Dane is on track to trial next Friday at Warwick Farm.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the coming spring carnival news and don’t forget to head over to bookmaker.com.au and open your account with the country’s leading bookie for the future odds on the Group 1 races!