Portelli Pinning Golden Slipper Hopes on Sebring Sun

By: Jared Timms
January 20th, 2015

Stamping his claims as one to watch via an impressive debut effort in October, trainer Gary Portelli is confident talented two-year-old Sebring Sun is more than capable of developing into a serious Golden Slipper contender a little over two months away from the feature race.

Trainer Gary Portelli is confident Sebring Sun will develop into a serious Golden Slipper contender. Photo: Daniel Costello

Trainer Gary Portelli is confident Sebring Sun will develop into a serious Golden Slipper contender. Photo: Daniel Costello

Missing the start in the TAB Betting Season Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 11th, Brenton Avdulla was forced to settle Sebring Sun towards the tail of the field of ten; working forward mid-race and continuing to find over the dying stages of the final straight to finish only a head off the pace of winner, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pierrette.

Thrilled with the form and class displayed by the son of Sebring in the lead-up to his competitive return, particularly via an impressive barrier trial win at Warwick Farm on January 8th, Portelli revealed the two-year-old will complete a final piece of hard work on Tuesday and is expecting a polished performance first-up at Randwick on Saturday.

“Hugh Bowman rode him in the trial and is coming out to Warwick Farm to ride him for me on Tuesday morning,” Portelli told AAP.

“He will work with Straturbo so that will give him a good hit-out.

“The colt has tightened up nicely and is fit enough for the 1000 metres on Saturday bearing in mind there is a long preparation ahead.

“He is a genuine two-year-old and it’s like dealing with a three-year-old.

“The Slipper is his aim and there will be no excuses on Saturday.”

Yet to saddle a winner in the world’s richest race for two-year-old runners, Portelli most recently trained I’m All The Talk to tenth in the 2013 edition of the Golden Slipper; a race comfortably won by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Overreach.

Winner of the 2008 Golden Slipper, Sebring has produced several notable progeny in recent years arguably headlined by multiple Group 1 champions Dissident and Criterion.

Likely to cut drastically if successful in his return this weekend, Sebring Sun is currently available at a particularly generous quote of $34 for success in the 2015 Golden Slipper with leading online bookie Ladbrokes Australia.

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