By Brad Gray
At Warwick Farm
The margin at the finish was only a length but the result was never in doubt for She Will Reign.
She Will Reign getting the job done fresh
Trainer Gary Portelli summed said it best when he said, “She wasn’t fat enough to get beat but she was certainly fat enough to improve off.”
The three-year-old filly was sent out at the prohibitive odds of $1.24 and accounted for 92 percent of bets on the race with TAB. Ben Melham left nothing to chance taking the race by the scruff of the neck from the outset and despite having to do a little more on her than he originally planned, she pulled out enough at the finish to hold off the brave Acqume.
“She was standing in the barriers very complacent, and she has always done that,” said Melham, “It’s a fine line between revving her too much. Sometimes she can jump and really hammer. You just have to do enough to have her switched on without her running through the bridle.”
“Because I made her begin, the saddle came back a little leaving the barriers. It made it a bit awkward for us but I’m still pretty happy with that knowing there is good improvement in her. She only had the one soft trial going into today and it’ll benefit her a heap fitness-wise.
“She has filled out. She was always a sensible horse but she is certainly more mature but very casual which is not a bad thing for a young filly.”
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) February 10, 2018
Portelli revealed that Melham had been at him over the past week to keep next week’s Lightning Stakes at Flemington “in the back of his mind”, which would set up a clash with Redzel, but the Oakleigh Plate is still Portelli’s preferred option.
“When you are watching live, it’s a little bit more nerve wrecking but I thought he throttled down a little late looking after her,” said Portelli.
“We had a conversation earlier in the week where he wanted to back her up in the Lightning and I said it would depend on how hard a gallop she had today.”
TAB who reported a $50,000 bet at $1.11 to place on She Will Reign in the Inglis feature, kept her at $15 for the $2.5m Darley TJ Smith Stakes on Day One of The Championships (April 7).