Trainer Gary Portelli is super confident the 1200m of the Group 2 $300,000 Affinity Shopping Reisling Stakes at Randwick on Saturday won’t be a problem for his Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign.
She Will Reign kept her unbeaten record intact even though she blew the start before winning the Group 2 $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 18.
Portelli admits that he wasn’t sure if She Will Reign would be strong at the end of the 1100m of the Silver Slipper Stakes, but the way she ran through the line gave him a heap of confidence that the step up to the 1200m on Saturday won’t cause any problems.
“She’s always showed a lot of speed but with horses that fast you’re always worried about them getting a little tired,” Poetelli told racing.com.
“The big step up for me was the 1100 (metres) last start and to see her run through the line and have trouble pulling her up gave me more confidence.
“I’m at that level now where I go to the races I know I’ve got the horse. I just need some luck during the race and we should get a good result.”
She Will Reign has shown blistering speed in her two previous wins over 1000m in a Kembla Grange 2yo Maiden and in the Restricted Listed $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on December 17, but when she was last to leave the gates in the Silver Slipper Stakes, Portelli and all the punters that took the odds on were wondering what had happened.
After she dawdled out of the barriers, Ben Melham didn’t bustle the Manhattan Rain filly and let her settle at the tail of the field before accelerating through the pack to record a one and half lengths win over the John O’Shea trained Veranillo.
Racing New South Wales stewards reviewed the start and told Melham it looked like the filly’s hind legs slipped from underneath her as the starter released the field.
“You never like to see your horses miss the start, especially when they are favourite in big races but Ben said he went back to the stewards after the race because they asked him to have a look at it (replay) and her back legs went from underneath her when the gates opened,” Portelli said.
“So it may not have been her missing the start. At first I thought it was a situation where maybe she’d gone to sleep in the gates.
“I didn’t get a chance to speak to Ben much straight after the race but he rang me that night and stewards showed him that her legs went from under her – she knuckled – and it probably looked worse than what it was because he actually eased her because he’s got so much confidence in her that she’ll just go through the gears when she needs to.”
The prospect of a wet track at Randwick on Saturday won’t be a concern either after She Will Reign won the Inglis Nursery on a heavy 8 and the Silver Slipper Stakes on a soft 5.
She Will Reign is the $1.50 favourite for the Reisling Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au and will jump from barrier six in the nine horse field with Ben Melham in the saddle again.
The speedy filly is also the ruling favourite for the Golden Slipper at $3 ahead of the Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Houtzen and the Gerald Ryan trained Menari who share the second line of betting at $8.