I’m All The Talk will return to the races in the 2015 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday and trainer Gary Portelli is confident that the tight-turning track will suit his speedy sprinter in the Group 2 event.
I’m All The Talk showed plenty of early speed when he took up the running in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28 before he tired in the final 100 metres, but he was sent to the spelling paddock after he failed to fire in the Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14 and the All Victoria Sprint Series (1100m) at Flemington on May 9.
Portelli told Racing Ahead that he has kept I’m All The Talk extremely fresh for a McEwen Stakes onslaught and he is hopeful that any potential leader bias at Moonee Valley will help the Stratum entire return to winning form this weekend.
“He is a powerful sprinter,” Portelli said.
“He has had a throat problem in the past and he had an operation as a young horse, but he is a bit limited as to how far he can run.
“We have always wanted to have a crack at Moonee Valley and the way that he races it suits that sort of horse.
“Moonee Valley has been a little bit leaderish lately and hopefully that continues to be the case on the weekend.
“I haven’t trialed him purposely this preparation because we have trialed him before and he has actually trialed enormous in all of his 800 metres barrier trials and being that it is only 1000 I want him really fresh and keen to get on with the job.”
While Portelli is delighted with the freshness of I’m All The Talk, he admits that the five-year-old faces a very tough task in the McEwen Stakes after 15 talented sprinters were included in the field for the $200,000 event.
Chautauqua has opened as a clear favourite in 2015 McEwen Stakes betting markets and Portelli admits that the T.J. Smith Stakes winner will likely prove tough to hold out in the short-course sprint.
“We have given him a lot of short gallops just to keep him sharp for this and he is ready to go, but he will need to be because it looks Chautauqua is going to be accepting and he is the best sprinter in Australia I believe,” Portelli said.
“I would like to be a long way in front of him coming around the corner that is for sure.”
I’m All The Talk has not recorded a race win since he took out the 2013 edition of the Group 3 Skyline Stakes (1200m).