Single Bullet earnt a place in the 2017 Golden Slipper with a fighting victory in the Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Ducimus went into the Pago Pago Stakes as a clear favourite following the scratching of Condor Heroes and Blake Shinn elected to take up the running on the unbeaten colt, while Single Bullet settled just behind the speed.
Ducimus and Single Bullet quickly cleared out from the rest of the field at the top of the straight and they were locked in an epic battle for the final 300 metres, but it was Single Bullet that proved superior in the final stages of the race.
Trainer Gary Portelli has always had a high opinion of Single Bullet and he believes that the Not A Single Doubt colt is more than deserving of his place in the 2017 Golden Slipper field.
“It is a dream come true for this bunch of owners,” Portelli said.
“We bought him aiming at the Magic Millions, but things didn’t quiet go the way we were hoping but in the back of my mind I thought he would be better off in the Slipper.
“I am not saying that he can win it, but we are in it and that is half the battle.”
Portelli already has classy filly She Will Reign in the 2017 Golden Slipper field and the Warwick Farm-trained admits that She Will Reign has a clear edge over Single Bullet, but he was quick to point out that anything can happen in the world’s richest two-year-olds race.
“I think she is pretty superior and everybody knows that at the moment,” Portelli said.
“Things can go wrong in the Slipper and I’ve got a plan B.
“We only had 15 two-year-olds on our books and I think that we have four or five two-year-olds win a race, so it has been one of those years.
“I believe that things happen for a reason and when he missed the start in his first go at Wyong, he had a barrier attendant holding him by the bridle.
“Tye (Angland) said to me that day that barrier attendant might have cost you the Magic Millions, but he might have won you the Golden Slipper.
“Here he is riding the horse today and it is amazing how things happen for a reason.”
Single Bullet is $26 in the 2017 Golden Slipper betting market with Ladbrokes, while Houtzen ($3.80) remains a narrow favourite from She Will Reign ($4), Catchy ($9) and Frolic ($12).