Smart colt Sebring Sun will kick of his Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign at Randwick on Saturday with the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21 to be his grand final.
Portelli is keen for Sebring Sun to gain some valuable race experience and some valuable prizemoney when he lines up in the $85,000TAB Place Multi Plate (1000m) for the two year olds.
But he admits that although the Sebring colt is ready to win on the weekend, he won’t be fully wound up at this stage and will have him peaking on Golden Slipper Day.
“My bloke is fit enough to win on Saturday, but he’s probably going to be four to five lengths better at his peak,” Portelli told The Daily Telegraph.
Portelli has high hopes for Sebring Sun and has recalled the performances of his other Golden Slipper runners in the past to help in his preparation this year.
“My Slipper horses have all been fringe horses, and I think the shortest-priced horse was around 20-1, and that was Delago Bolt who was put over the fence at the 200m and should have finished right amongst them,’’ Portelli said.
“I’m All The Talk was a horse who had probably had enough by the time he got there, and didn’t have a long enough break between campaigns. These are little things you pick up.”
Portelli also admits picking up some valuable tips from rival trainers John Hawkes and Peter Snowden who have visited the Golden Slipper winner’s stall in the past.
“I used to watch John Hawkes, who had plenty of two-year-olds to choose from (at Crown Lodge), but when he did pick one out, he was good at getting them to the race and peaking on the day. It’s the same with Peter Snowden,” Portelli said.
Sebring Sun was sent for a break after his debut run when an unlucky second to Pierrette over 1000m at Randwick on October 11 last year when he missed the start and ran around badly in the straight.
“There’s no doubt he should have been half paid up for the Golden Slipper by now in terms of prizemoney won, and about $100,000 should get you into the race,’’ Portelli said.
“I’ve had to watch that video of his debut a few times to remind myself of what happened. In my mind I still couldn’t believe it.
“Our bloke has got ability, there’s no doubt about that, he just needs to do it now on the track. There’s no use just talking about it.’’
Portelli has given Sebring Sun a barrier trial in the lead up to his return to the racetrack and said that didn’t go to plan either with the speedster blitzing the field from the start when the trainer wanted him to settle back in the field.
“He might as well gone out for trackwork by himself,” Portelli said.
“It was no fault of Hughie (Bowman) the other day. He jumped and was suddenly three lengths clear. He tried to get him back, but nothing went fast enough to get in front of him.
“If he was to get beaten, it’s because he doesn’t know what to do when he gets amongst them.”
At Ladbrokes.com.au Sebring Sun has been marked at $2.80 for Saturday’s contest with the John O’Shea trained first starter Haptic heading the market order at $1.70.