Gary Portelli does not buy into the theory that star filly She Will Reign is a poor starter and is confident that she will take plenty of beating in Saturday’s Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, as a final point of call ahead of the 2017 Golden Slipper.
She Will Reign is yet to taste anything but success through her three-start career so far, but the filly was made to work for her last-start triumph in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) after missing the start.
Portelli told Racing Victoria that on review, the Manhattan Rain filly appeared to slip when the gates opened last start and that with more favourable conditions, she might not have found herself at the tail of the field from the outset.
“You never like to see your horses miss the start, especially when they are favourite in big races but Ben (Melham) 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.”
Portelli said that the only thing he had worried about was whether or not She Will Reign would be able to perform as well over a distance greater than 1000m, but believes her impressive run over 1100m last time out suggests that she will handle another step up to 1200m this weekend.
“She’s always showed a lot of speed but with horses that fast you’re always worried about them getting a little tired,” Portelli said.
“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 is a $1.80 favourite in Reisling Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au prior to Wednesday’s barrier draw, while also a clear $3 favourite in early Golden Slipper betting markets.