Warwick Farm horseman Gary Portelli is excited about the upcoming autumn season rating a number of his current crop of juveniles as definite contenders in the big two-year-old features, the biggest of which is of course the Golden Slipper.
The richest race of its kind for that age group in the world, the $3.5 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) has been run and won by a number of genuine turf champions over the years with the next edition set to light up Rosehill Gardens on Saturday April 6, 2013.
While it may be a while off Portelli is already eyeing the Golden Slipper Stakes riches with his best chance in the classic at this stage looking to be promising colt All The Talk, a son of 2005 Golden Slipper winner Stratum.
“I’ve got two or three really nice two-year-olds coming through including All The Talk,” Portelli, who will be chasing his maiden Golden Slipper trophy, said.
“I hope to get at least one of them into the Slipper.”
A $40,000 purchase from this year’s William Inglis and Son Sydney Classic Yearling Sales, All The Talk debuted at Rosehill on November 17.
They jumped a $16 outsider in the ATC Membership on Sale Now 2YO Handicap (1100m) and carried 58kg to a credible third behind Charlie Boy and Windjammer.
Saturday will see them race again when they head to Warwick Farm to contest the first race on the card, the $85,000 Warwick Farm 2YO Plate (1000m).
“It was a very strong two-year-old form race,” Portelli said of their maiden run.
“The trainers of the first and second horses have big opinions of their two-year-olds and my bloke gave them a bit of stick coming to the corner.
“He looked to have them covered on straightening and I thought here we go he is living up to my expectations then all of a sudden he ‘conked’ out.
“It turns out he got his tongue over the bit so we have added a tongue tie for this race (on Saturday).
“He actually got a fright when he ran away from the inside horse (Windjammer) then when the outside horse (Charlie Boy) came at him he ran back in.
“It’s obvious he has some ‘ring craft’ to learn so the winkers are going on, too.”
In a field of unraced youngsters All The Talk is one of only three chances in the eight-horse field with previous race experience.
Drawn in gate five with Blake Shinn taking over riding duties from Kathy O’Hara they are rated $9 in markets which are led by the likes of the rails-drawn Romantic Touch from the Gai Waterhouse stables, the Peter Snowden-trained Aspen and Tim Martin’s Charge Forward filly Let’s Frolic coming off a smart barrier trial win at the track from November 20 who all make their debut.
While a win would be nice Portelli just wants to see All The Talk put in a nice run on Saturday as they get their bearings and gear up for some bigger assignments early next year – the Golden Slipper their grand final goal.
“He is a lovely colt, a beautiful, deep rich chestnut, one of the nicest two-year-olds you will see,” Portelli said.
“The Inglis Classic race is there for him, and that is a nice race to win, but I’m hoping he is better than that and is on the Slipper path.
“That is a decision we will have to weigh up if he runs well (on Saturday).
“But his run the other day was good considering I didn’t have him wound right up. If I can get him breathing right, then we will have a lot of fun with him.”