By Brad Gray
Gary Portelli will have two runners in next week’s Golden Slipper with Single Bullet set to join She Will Reign after he won the Group Three Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill.
“I believe things happen for a reason. When he missed the start at his first go at Wyong, a barrier attendant was holding him by the bridle. He was being silly and missed the start,” recalled Portelli.
“Tye (Angland) said to me that day, ‘the barrier attendant might have cost you the Magic Millions but he might win you the Golden Slipper’. Here he is riding the horse today. Things happen for a reason.
“Things didn’t quite go the way we were hoping. In the back of my mind I thought we might be better off in the Slipper. I’m not saying we can win it but we are in it. That is half the battle.”
Single Bullet winning the Pago Pago
Early in their careers, Portelli maintained there was little between Single Bullet and She Will Reign but the filly has gone to a different level over the past few months.
“She is superior but he is honest. If things go wrong in the Slipper, as they can do, I’ve got Plan B.”
“I’m looking forward to the next seven days. It is going to be a long week.”
Gerald Ryan had his two runners sensationally scratched behind the gates, speedster Condor Heroes and Albumin, and with some tempo coming out of the race, Angland took the initiative to head forward on Single Bullet.
“The plan was to ride him with a bit of cover and save him for late, but when the speed come out of the race at the gates, I just made sure he jumped well to give myself options,” said Angland.
“He’d be a completely different horse held up and allowed to show that turn of foot he possesses.”
Race favourite Ducimus was heavily supported in betting and put up a brave fight to run a narrow second.
“He ran really well, just first time this way and a little bit of inexperience cost him. He’s got huge potential and is definitely one to follow,” said Blake Shinn.