A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
Sydney’s Gary Portelli is growing more and more confident in his nice filly Secret Lady ahead of her major summer assignment in the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic next month.
The two-year-old daughter of Choisir has had two career starts to date in November, running a close second on debut behind Dynamited at Rosehill over 1100m and then returning to the same track and distance a fortnight later to salute in the $150,000 Golden Gift (1100m).
Apprentice Lee Magorrian rode Secret Lady for her two career openers, but Portelli has engaged the services of Melbourne jockey Ben Melham for the filly’s Magic Millions campaign.
Portelli and Melham combined with another very good juvenile filly back in the autumn, taking out Rosehill’s Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) with She Will Reign.
She Will Reign went on to win the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) first-up at The Valley in September before her failed 11th to Redzel in the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick last time out in mid-October.
The daughter of Manhattan Rain is back in work and also has Portelli’s early tick of approval.
“[She’s] going enormous and looks fantastic,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“It’s still early days but I’m very happy with how she is coming up so far this preparation.”
As for the untapped Secret Lady, Melham will partner her for a Warwick Farm barrier trial next Tuesday, the hoop in Sydney for the ride on stablemate Testashadow in this Saturday’s Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m).
“Ben has agreed to ride Testashadow in the Villiers and he will stay here until Tuesday morning so he can ride Secret Lady in a Warwick Farm barrier trial,” Portelli confirmed.
“I wanted him to get the feel of Secret Lady as he will ride her in the Magic Millions as well.”
Original summer racing plans for Secret Lady were to run her at Rosehill last Saturday in the $100,000 Merry Christmas ATC Members Handicap (1100m).
Portelli made the decision to bypass the race subsequently won by the James Cummings-trained odds-on favourite Gongs and is happy with the call.
“If Gongs wasn’t in the race then Secret Lady would have been a moral,” he said.
“But I didn’t want to see Secret Lady and Gongs going head-to-head and having a really tough run.
“Secret Lady would have then needed to get over the run and be ready for the Magic Millions.
“She has put on five kilos since her win and that gives me something to burn off between now and the race to have her at peak fitness.
“Although she is a pretty tough little horse she is only a two-year-old and I need to keep that in mind.
“She will have her next run at Randwick on December 30 and then go into the Magic Millions.”
To back Secret Lady in the all-in Magic Millions Gold Coast Classic 2018 odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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