By Ray Hickson
A change of fortune and a well needed confidence boost are what trainer Gary Portelli would like to give talented colt Single Bullet for Christmas.
He’s hoping that will come in Thursday’s $100,000 Wyong Magic Millions 3&4yo Stakes (1200m) after Single Bullet was at the wrong end of some severe interference at his last appearance.
Portelli said the incident after about 200m at Rosehill on December 9 knocked the stuffing out of his colt who tailed out some 11 lengths off the winner at the finish.
“It was disappointing to watch what happened, he missed the start slightly which put him in a position further back than we wanted,’’ he said.
“His luck’s got to change. You don’t like colts getting checked, it can work against you.
“He might come out and miss the start altogether but thankfully it hasn’t affected him at trackwork.’’
A closer look at the Racing NSW stewards footage (below) from the Rosehill event graphically illustrates how much interference Single Bullet suffered.
His troubles began when he was crowded shortly after the start then around the 850m he was on the wrong end of a chain reaction which saw Single Bullet lose all chance.
Portelli said the colt “dodged a bullet’’ as he came through the race without any major issues.
“One of his part owners is a horse chiropractor and he came to have a look at him and said there were only a couple of tight muscles and ribs,’’ he said.
The Wyong Magic Millions event shapes as an important race for Single Bullet, who was three times runner-up in stakes races in the spring, but it’s not just to get a win on the board.
It’s for Portelli to find out once and for all if he’s a live chance in the Gold Coast feature next month.
“We’re going to Wyong and we will be drawing the line in the sand that day,’’ Portelli said.
“If he’s not successful or at least giving the impression 1400m won’t be a problem we’ll be aborting that plan.’’
Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign hasn’t yet stepped up her preparation for the autumn but Portelli said she’s looking in fine shape.
We haven’t seen the filly since she finished down the track in The Everest and she’s likely to kick off her campaign in Melbourne, after two trials in Sydney, aimed at the Oakleigh Plate.
“She Will Reign had her first gallop on Saturday morning and just had an easy gallop running home in 26 the last two going half pace,’’ Portelli said.
Portelli’s other Magic Millions hopeful Secret Lady takes on older horses in an 800m trial at Warwick Farm on Tuesday which includes in-form three-year-olds Epidemic and Our Crown Mistress.
He wanted the youngster to have a tough trial as she’s led at both her starts and hasn’t been exposed to any serious obstacles in running.
Secret Lady is then due to tackle an 1100m two-year-old event at Randwick on 30 December.