By Brad Gray
With nine winners in the past month, there are few stables in Sydney in the form of Gary Portelli’s and he saddles up boom youngster Single Bullet at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Single Bullet made a big impression on debut when charging home to run second in the Wyong Magic Millions 2YO behind Madeenaty.
Single Bullet's Wyong debut after missing the kick
“He’ll be running (on Saturday). If we were definite starters in the Magic Millions I’d pull the pin but there’s every chance that if I don’t run he’ll end up even further down the list. I’m not committed to running in the Magic Millions until I firstly see if he wins, and secondly how he recovers,” Portelli said of the odds-on chance.
“He’s a light little horse, there’s not much of him. He’s small and still immature. He’d have to really impress me on Sunday and Monday to be wanting to back up. If he was to win, the $50,000 would add nicely to the Golden Slipper if we changed tact.”
Portelli is playing at his home ground on Saturday and although generally an advantage, the trainer warns that it can occasionally work against you too.
“It’s a big (advantage) for the local horses. The only thing is, horses can get overexcited in the tie-ups because they know they’re here and feel more confident. He’s a pretty laid back sort of colt though. It won’t be a problem.”
Meanwhile, Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign is back in the stable and feeling so well that Portelli will start ramping up her work as early as next week.
“She came back in on Monday and she looks great. The 12 days has freshened her up nicely.
“She went out in really good order. She’s one of those horses that seems to have the same physique no matter what. Her muscle tone is naturally a bit soft but that’ll come up in the next few weeks.”
As for the inevitable comparisons between She Will Reign and Single Bullet, nothing much has changed in Portelli’s mind.
“On race day there is still a bit of a gap. She has done the job and he’s yet to do it but in trackwork and potential there’s not much between them but she’s a real racehorse. I’d never say he could beat her at the moment.”
Portelli’s other runner on the card is Cosmic Cameo in the Summer Sprint (1000m), and the six-year-old has a real affinity with the circuit.
“He fires at Warwick Farm, his 1000m form is fantastic and he gets 3kg off with (Deanne) Panya. He’ll run a great race. He was a bit unlucky last week. We over read the form and told the jockey to ride quietly and they walked. I thought his last furlong was really good.
“Even though he is up in grade he is well down in the weights.”
Cosmic Cameo's last start fourth
This season, Panya has ridden for Portelli on 22 occasions for 8 wins and a further 5 placings. It’s a formidable partnership the pair are forming.
“She suits the type of horses that I’ve got. On pace front-runner types and it’s a big help.
“I don’t think she has come from behind on any of my horses yet. She’s been in front on every single horse. That’s the moral of the story – you’ve got a fast horse, a light weight on their back and she can rate them when they are in front.”
As for stable star Rebel Dane, he comes out of quarantine on Monday.
“He’ll have a week in the paddock and then come into work and head towards the TJ (Smith). He has put on 8kg since his last run so he is doing well.”