By Brad Gray
She Will Reign blew the start but overcame it to record a brilliant victory in the Group Two Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill.
Punters and connections had their hearts in their mouth when the $1.35 pop was slow to begin and settled clear last in the field of seven. However, a clever ride from Ben Melham saw her pinch the runs up on the inside before drawing clear from Veranillo at the finish.
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“The gates opened and she just stood there,” said a relieved Gary Portelli.
“We see what she does at track work and we know she has a turn of foot. It was just a matter of having something like that happen today to tell us she can come from behind.”
“It was the perfect education for her going forward and I think now we’ve got a true chance in the Golden Slipper.”
“I’ve got to thank the Darby boys for considering me to train the horse. I feel sorry for (original trainer) Michael Costa now. He is probably curled up in a ball up in Queensland. He moved to Queensland and they wanted the horse to stay in Sydney. I’ve also got to say thanks for his early work to get her educated.”
Given the way she won, Melham doesn’t see the 1200m being an issue as the filly further tightened her grip on Golden Slipper betting halving from $6 into $3.
“Today I had it in my mind that I was just going to ride her by feel so when she was tardy away I was happy to take that opportunity,” said Melham.
“It adds another string to her bow. It was good to see her do it like that even though there were a few nervous moments for the punters.”
The connections of She Will Reign again stole the show after her victory with wild scenes of celebration. The fairy tale is well and truly alive for them and their $20,000 horse.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) February 18, 2017