An encouraging phone call by Warwick Farm trainer Gary Portelli was enough to entice Chris Munce to travel to Sydney for the weekend to ride promising filly Single Style.
Single Style will line up in the Group 3 $125,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) and is one of four rides the premiership jockey has picked up at Warwick Farm tomorrow and Portelli will be disappointed if the Not A Single Doubt filly doesn’t race up to stable expectation.
“Our expectations are a lot higher than what most people who are doing the form on the race are,” Portelli said.
“We expect her to be in the first three at the finish and will be disappointed if she’s not because with any luck in running, I think she’s up to these fillies.”
“Based on what I’ve seen, she’s up there with the best fillies I’ve put a saddle on.”
Portelli formed the high opinion of Single Style when she was able to put two wins together in the Autumn, the latest beating Magic Millions winner Driefontein in the Listed $100,000 Brookfield Multiplex Keith Mackay Quality (1200m) at Randwick on April 21.
The filly has returned from a spell in good order and further fuelled Portelli’s hopes up with a solid Randwick barrier trial win just under two weeks ago and he is confident she can mix it with the good fillies in the coming Spring.
“We’re a bit nervous because if you like them that much, you hope that they are going to do the job and there’s no dodging these fillies, they’re going to be here for the whole preparation so we’ve got to line-up first-up and be competitive,” Portelli said.
Portelli knows that Single Style is facing some smart fillies and has pinpointed Ichihara and Nechita as the hardest to best.
The Warwick Farm trainer has seen both fillies race and will be hoping that Ichihara doesn’t get her own way in front as she did when winning two races in the Autumn and he was impressed with the John Thompson trained Nechita when she won her only race start in June.
“If Ichihara shows the speed that she showed at her first couple of runs she probably leads and we’ll come across and possibly sit outside her depending on whether any other horses want to put any pressure on Ichihara,” Portelli said.
“But we have to be careful if she does lead and no one puts pressure on her, she might do what she did at Warwick Farm in the Magic Night.”
She’s a pretty smart filly and the jockeys in the race won’t want to underestimate her ability to keep running.”
Nichita has been posted the $1.95 favourite for the Silver Shadow and Portelli has seen first handed how smart the Fastnet Rock filly is.
“I had Ptolemy in the race when Nechita won her first start at Warwick Farm. He should have run second that day, he got badly hampered in the straight when he went for a run, and he battled on pretty good but he was beaten about three or four lengths,” Portelli said.
“Nechita was pretty impressive that day, the mail was there to say she was pretty strong and I know John Thompson thinks it’s one of his best horses.”
Munce will also partner Queensland galloper Bold Glance in the Group 2 $175,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) for Toowoomba trainer Norm Hilton as the seven year ventures south of the border again chasing Spring prizemoney.
Bold Glance has shown in the past that he is capable of handing the big stage with a gallant third to Sacred Choice in last year’s Group 1 $2m Emirates Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 16 when ridden by Scott Seamer.
Munce will also be aboard Norocos for Hilton in the Listed $100,000 Show County Quality (1200m) and Irish Dream for Ron Quinton in the Listed $100,000 Toy Show Quality (1300m).