Melbourne based jockey Ben Melham will have no hesitation in letting short priced favourite She Will Reign jump and run in the Group 2 $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Gary Portelli trained She Will Reign is all the rage at $1.60 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Silver Slipper Stakes and another commanding win will see her gain a start in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18 and maintain her position at the top of the market order.
“It’s a good asset for a two-year-old to have to jump and run, so I’m not too fazed about taking that away from her,” Melham told The Daily Telegraph.
“I am just going to ride the horse somewhere there on speed and if something wants to go mad and I get an opportunity to pop in behind them I might do that.
“I’m certainly looking forward to Saturday and I don’t think she will be letting us down.”
She Will Reign has won her two race starts over 1000m and the Manhattan Rain filly will get her chance to show what stamina she has in the Silver Slipper Stakes before she steps up to the 1200m of the Golden Slipper.
“Of course there is a reservation there (at 1200m) but we will get a better guide Saturday,” Melham said.
“At this stage we still have to qualify.”
Deanne Panya rode She Will Reign in her debut win in a 1000m Kembla Grange 2yo Maiden on December and then Melham took over the reins for her slashing four lengths win in the Restricted Listed $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on December 17.
Melham made the trip up from Melbourne to Warwick Farm on February 6 to partner She Will Reign in an 808m barrier trial and she continued to impress with a nine lengths win in preparation for her Golden Slipper campaign.
“She felt to have definitely improved and everybody saw her trial and she was ultra impressive,” Melham said.
“The feel she gave me, she felt stronger to me this time than what she did the first time I trialled her (before her first start).
“She is a really sensible filly and she is very brilliant.”
She Will Reign collected $291,100 for winning the Inglis Nursery but that winning cheque is not counted towards her eligibility for the Golden Slipper as it was restricted to Inglis Sales graduates.
But a win in the Silver Slipper Stakes will see the Gary Portelli trained filly become ballot free for the Golden Slipper.
Closest to She Will Reign in the betting for the Silver Slipper Stakes at $4.60 is the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Khan who will be facing the starter for the second time after scoring on debut in the Listed $150,000 Newgate Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 1.
While Melham will go forward on She Will Reign from barrier five in the Silver Slipper Stakes, Kerrin McEvoy on Khan is certain to take a sit off the pace after jumping from the outside gate in the small seven horse field.
“He’s not a speed horse by any means,” co-trainer Paul Snowden said.
“Obviously we’re meeting a very fit filly here … she’s wound right up from that trial.”
“It’s a hot race and it’s going to be a big tempo so they will run along hard and that will suit our horse.”