High profile filly She Will Reign has kicked off her 2018 Autumn Carnival campaign with an easy barrier trial second at Warwick Farm this morning.
Melbourne based jockey Ben Melham was back aboard She Will Reign today in the 800m trial and is keen to partner the Manhattan Rain filly to more Group 1 successes after they combined for a win in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
She Will Reign added a second Group 1 trophy to her record with a last stride win in the $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley at the beginning of the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival but Melham was unable to the make her light weight and Kerrin McEvoy was able to claim the glory.
Melham was very excited to be back aboard She Will Reign in the Warwick Farm trial and was also pleased with the way she pulled up after being held down to a nice second to the speedy Super Too.
“It was an easy trial for a first trial but I was really happy with the way she pulled up, she pulled up like an athlete and recovered fast,’’ Melham told Racing New South Wales News.
“For a solidly run trial I was expecting her to have a bit more of a blow. She’s quite forward but obviously has improvement in her and I couldn’t have asked for her to trial any better.
“I didn’t want to be getting into a battle with what is a very quick horse but it was good to give her a bunny and a nice clean out without over taxing her.’’
Trainer Gary Portelli had planned to kick of She Will Reign’s Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 10 before lining up in the Group 1 $500,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield a fortnight later.
But Portelli has had a change of heart and the Golden Slipper winning filly will now have her Oakleigh Plate lead up run in the $250,000 Inglis Sprint (1100m) at Warwick Farm on on the same day as the Rubiton Stakes.
She Will Reign will only have to carry 54kgs against the other three year olds in The Inglis Sprint and Portelli could see that as a better option than heading to Melbourne early.
“She is going to get 54kg, it’s worth more money than the Rubiton and we don’t have to stress her out by going down the Highway, it’s just walk across the road instead. That’ll have her spot on second up for the Oakleigh Plate,” Portelli said.
“It’s a no brainer. We don’t need to take on the older horses, we take on three-year-olds restricted to a sale with a home track advantage. With 54kg on her back she is almost a handicapping certainty.”
She Will Reign hasn’t raced since finishing eleventh of twelve for Corey Brown behind Redzel in the 10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.