By Ray Hickson A second shot at The Everest with star filly She Will Reign is on trainer Gary Portelli’s wish list for 2018. The Golden Slipper winner is in the paddock after running second last as a $5.50 chance in the inaugural $10 million sprint at Randwick. Portelli said there were genuine excuses for her performance but the two start campaign did earn her a Group 1 win against older horses and he’s convinced she’ll be even better next year. “I think this will season her up nicely,’’ Portelli said. “She’ll come back for a three-year-old campaign after Christmas, maybe look at the TJ Smith if she is going well enough. “We’ll put her away and then aim up at the Everest again next year.’’
She Will Reign, purchased for just $20,000 at the Inglis Classic Sale, raced in the Everest for slot holder Yu Long. In The Everest, She Will Reign appeared to be making a move when she came off eventual winner Redzel’s heels at the 400m then inexplicably stopped and was beaten 4-1/2 lengths. Portelli said soon after the race that the filly had a severe coughing fit suggesting she may have swallowed some kickback during the run. “She was galloped on and pulled up a bit stiff and sore in the muscles after it,’’ he said. “It took her forever to stop coughing, she was around at the vets waiting to be swabbed and they couldn’t swab her until she stopped. “Once she got whatever it was out she was right. “She strained all the muscles in her stomach from coughing, the physio we had to work with her said she was so sore through the wither and rib cage it must have been from all the coughing. “When you’re running and trying not to cough – I reckon that’s what was going on.’’ Out of The Everest, winner Redzel is heading for the Darley Classic, runner-up Vega Magic and fourth placed Chatuauqua run in Friday week’s Manikato Stakes along with English (sixth), Redkirk Warrior and Clearly Innocent are also likely Darley runners and Tulip and Houtzen head to the Coolmore Stud Stakes. Along with She Will Reign, Brave Smash, Deploy and Fell Swoop have been spelled.