Trainer Gary Portelli is tipping that his Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign will takeover the tag as the best sprinter in Australia if she can claim victory in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
She Will Reign proved to be the best two year old during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a dynamic win in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill and then resumed in the Spring for a first up win in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 29.
She Will Reign is holding her spot at the top of the market order for The Everest at $4.80 with Ladbrokes.com.au and if the Manhattan Rain filly can keep the punters happy with a win, Portelli said that would have plenty of ammunition to be crowned Australia’s best sprinter.
“And if she can win The Everest I think she should be ranked the best sprinter in Australia,’’ Portelli told Racing New South Wales News Desk.
The Warwick Farm trainer’s confidence heading into The Everest was boosted with She Will Reign’s come from behind win in the Moir Stakes and there is certain to be another frantic pace up front on Saturday which will suit his filly.
“When I first found the race (Moir Stakes) to aim at, it’s usually a small field so when it was 13 runners it wasn’t the plan but it was the run she had to have going into The Everest,’’ Portelli said.
“For me it wasn’t so much she had to win but she had to run well. It worked out beautifully, she was able to follow a frantic pace and she got the money.
“The way she did it gave me confidence we can go into The Everest and be a great chance of winning. That was a Group 1 but this is a real Group 1.’’
She Will Reign has drawn barrier two in the twelve horse field for The Everest and will be ridden for the first time by light weight jockey Corey Brown.
Since being booked for The Everest ride last week, Brown has spent plenty of time at Warwick Farm getting acquainted with the filly and Portelli said horse and jockey are starting to gel nicely.
“She was a bit keen when Corey first rode her because I think she thought he was a jockey that’d gallop her,’’ Portelli said.
“Ever since he’s been riding her every day she’s now come back and relaxing more for him.”
Golden Slipper winning Ben Melham was the first choice rider for She Will Reign in The Everest but the Melbourne based jockey was unable to get down to the 51kg the filly will carry under the weight for age conditions of the race.
Brown has worked hard to get down to the right weight and takes over from Kerrin McEvoy who was in the saddle for the filly’s Moir Stakes win.
McEvoy will ride the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel ($7.50) in The Everest.
The Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic at $5 is pressuring She Will Reign for favouritism and is also coming off a last start Group 1 win in the $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
Vega Magic has drawn barrier ten with Memsie Stakes winning jockey Craig Williams retaining the mount.