Three-year-old gelding Military Zone capped off...
New South Wales based trainer Gary Portelli knows a thing or two about winning the Golden Slipper.
Portelli won the $3.5 million Group 1 feature two years ago with She Will Reign, and he now has a chance to claim another following little brother Time To Reign’s win in Saturday’s Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
Time To Reign, a $12.20 chance with Ladbrokes entering the race, ran on well to win by over two lengths from single-digit favourite Tassort. The two-year-old returned to the races following a disappointing run at Warwick Farm a fortnight ago that saw him finish fourth despite entering as the favourite.
Portelli admits he was worried about the speed in Saturday’s race, but still thinks he has a very talented colt capable of winning the Slipper.
“I was coming into the race today and I was concerned that the speed would be on and maybe things wouldn’t go to plan” Portelli said after the race.
“Early on we got a really bad bump out of the gates and Jason (Collett) gave him a good dig and he got running again and the speed was good, he got into a lovely spot one out one back, and I was actually worried because it didn’t look like he was travelling comfortably enough to pick up.”
Opening as the $1.60 favourite at Warwick Farm earlier this month, it’s not hard to see why Portelli was concerned ahead of Saturday’s start at Rosehill. After She Will Reign’s success two years ago, Portelli claimed it was “dejavu” on the soft track, but he can now look ahead to the Slipper on March 23 knowing his hopeful has firmed from $26.00 into $8.00 as the second-elect.
“We’ll stick with the plan, he’ll go around in the Todman in two weeks time, he’ll have the 1200m under his belt and if we get a heavy track again on Slipper day you want them fit, if he pulls up well that’s the plan” Portelli said when asked on Time To Reign’s path to the Guineas.
“I’ve got another little Slipper at home and I’d live to have another one to pair up with it if I can, and I think I’ve got the right horse now.”
Third placegetter Born A Warrior also enjoyed a gun run from barrier six, firming from $21.00 into $13.00.
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