Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign has commenced her trek towards the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 with a second in an 800m barrier trial at Warwick Farm this morning.
The Gary Portelli trained She Will Reign was under a tight hold from Golden Slipper winning jockey Ben Melham for the entire way and after leading the five horse trial comfortably in the middle stage, was held together in the straight to finish a head behind her stablemate Single Bullet.
Potential The Everest rival Chautauqua was allowed to settle a conspicuous last in the early and middle stages with Brenton Avdulla only lengthening the reins slightly in the straight for the ruling T J Smith Stakes champion to finish ten lengths behind Single Bullet.
She Will Reign was having her first public appearance since scoring a dramatic win on a bog track in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18 and has gained a slot in the inaugural running of The Everest.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua will also fill a slot in The Everest and today was also his first public outing since winning his third Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 1.
Portelli has earmarked the Group 1 $500,000 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 29 as She Will Reign’s 2017 Spring Carnival pipe opener but Melham will have to relinquish the ride to Melbourne’s premiership winning jockey Craig Williams because he will be unable to get down to the 50kg that the three year old filly will be asked to carry under the weight for age scale.
“Ben has told me he’s working towards getting down to that weight but 50 kilos in the Moir Stakes is too light for him,” trainer Gary Portelli told the Herald Sun.
Melham is working hard to be able to ride She Will Reign at 51kg in The Everest but Portelli will now have Williams as a backup for the $10 million sprint.
“The Everest will be her Grand Final and we are likely to pull up stumps after that,” Portelli said.
“Benny’s working hard to get down to 51 but Craig will ride her first-up and then he’s there as a back-up if it’s impossible for Ben.”
Early betting for 2017 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au has Chautauqua as the $4.60 favourite just ahead of She Will Reign at $6 while the Goodwood Handicap winner Vega Magic, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained English and the Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Houtzen all sharing the third line of betting at $11.
Early market order for the 2017 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Chautauqua, $6 She Will Reign, $11 English, Houtzen, Vega Magic, $13 Menari, Russian Revolution, $15 Spieth, Redkirk Warrior, $17 Battaash, Brave Smash, Redzel, $21 Pariah,, $26 Clearly Innocent, Limato, Fell Swoop, Terravista, $33 Bound For Nowhere, $34 Jukebox, Black Heart Bart, Global Glamour, Le Romain, $41 Derryn, Omei Sword, $51 or better the rest.