By Ray Hickson
A rare injury cost connections of promising youngster Disruptor a shot at the big two-year-old races this season but trainer Gary Portelli is confident he’ll make up for lost time in the rest of 2019.
After a solid second behind Anaheed on debut back on Everest Day, the colt was due to take his place in the race won by Kiamichi at Rosehill on November 10 but had to be spelled when he injured a ligament behind his knee.
Disruptor returns in the Battle Of Amiens Plate (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Thursday and Portelli is keen to follow a blueprint successfully used by Chris Waller over the past few years.
“Unfortunately he had to miss all the big two-year-old races, including the Millennium, it was a bitter pill to swallow because it was an unusual injury,’’ Portelli said.
“But he’s 100 per cent so we thought we might have a dip at the winter carnival.
“Maybe we follow Chris Waller’s path with some of his good colts he’s taken to Brisbane, a couple of runs up there and come back for the Golden Rose.
Disruptor wins his trial at Warwick Farm on April 12
“That’s the possibility but it all has to start off well on Thursday.’’
Interestingly, the last two winners of the two-year-old colts and geldings maiden on the Anzac Day program have been The Autumn Sun (on debut) and Pierata (at his second start).
“Let’s hope there’s not one of them in the race – or hopefully it’s mine,’’ Portelli quipped.
Disruptor has trialled twice to Portelli’s liking in April though his chances were struck a small blow when he drew the outside barrier on Thursday.
But that’s jockey Jason Collett’s problem, with the trainer’s view being the barrier isn’t as bad as it looks and no reason to deviate from the plan.
“I think we can put him wherever we want,’’ he said.
“He led up in the trials but I’ll just leave it to Jason and he’ll put him where he needs to give him every chance to finish the race off strong. Six furlongs at Randwick from a bad gate isn’t as bad as Rosehill.
“He has the promise to go on to bigger and better things. While I wouldn’t work him with Spaceboy or Time To Reign, they’d be too quick, once he gets up to 1400m or 1600m we might see this horse at his best.’’
Stablemate Kingstar Diamond has jumped out of the ground in his two recent trials after Portelli considered sending him to a country trainer when he failed to fire early.
While he’s definitely the stable’s second stringer the gelding has earned his city debut.
“Before his first trial I said I didn’t think he was much good and wasn’t showing much in trackwork but he’s surprised me,’’ he said.
“I think he is going to be one of those Medaglia D’Oro’s that will like the sting out of the track. On ability Disruptor has his measure.’’
Portelli also has a pair of fillies making their debuts in the Armistice Plate (1200m) and he describes Sky Diamonds and Quissent as ‘next wave’ youngsters who he expects to blossom late in the season.
The likes of Ronstar and Dio D’Oro have fallen into that category in the last 12 months.
“The early precocious types get the chance to go early and the ones that take a bit of time, like this next wave, are coming through now for the winter,’’ he said.
“If you have a nice two-year-old through June and July there is some nice prizemoney to be won.
“Placed right, there will be plenty of races for them because they have ability.’’
Meanwhile, Portelli said another promising youngster in Spaceboy, a winner of a Canterbury trial on Tuesday, will make his return on Saturday week on the Kensington track.
And Time To Reign is enjoying his spell following the Golden Slipper. Portelli said he’s likely to target the San Domenico Stakes first-up but nothing will be decided until after he returns from his own holiday.