Gary Portelli is hopeful that sixth time is the charm for him in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 21. The trainer has yet to finish in the first three in the prestigious $3.5 million race with any of his five runners but is this year pinning his hopes squarely on Sebring Sun’s shoulders.
The two-year-old colt made his debut at Royal Randwick Racecourse last October in the Tab Betting Season Plate (1000m) and will get his first run of his autumn campaign in the 2YO Plate (1000m) at the same track this Saturday, for which he is one of ten nominated horses.
Sebring Sun got slowly away in the October race but started to work forward at the halfway point. He kept on finding ground until the final 100 metres when he ducked off the track, beaten a head by Pierrette.
Portelli was somewhat disappointed with the runner-up finish considering his nine length barrier trial victory two weeks earlier. However he believes he’ll be much more impressive in Saturday’s plate following a four and a half length barrier trial win with Hugh Bowman on January 8.
Sebring Sun will also work alongside stable mate Straturbo, who won the Magic Millions Sprint (1100m) at the Gold Coast on January 10.
“Hugh Bowman rode him in the trial and is coming out to Warwick Farm to ride him for me on Tuesday morning,” Portelli told Sky Racing.
“He will work with Straturbo so that will give him a good hit-out.
“The colt has tightened up nicely and is fit enough for the 1000 metres on Saturday bearing in mind there is a long preparation ahead.
“He is a genuine two-year-old and it’s like dealing with a three-year-old.
“The Slipper is his aim and there will be no excuses on Saturday.”
Sebring Sun is a $34 hopeful in the 2015 Golden Slipper futures betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, behind favourites Ottoman ($8) and Furnaces ($9).
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