By Ray Hickson
Trainer Gary Portelli wants a repeat of the result but not the dramatic aftermath of Showminder's first-up win when the gelding aims to make it two from two this preparation at Canterbury on Wednesday.
It’s fair to say the consistent galloper broke through the pain barrier when he ran down Maggie Miss to score over 1400m at Randwick three weeks ago but just how much he overcame wasn’t apparent until he returned to the winner’s circle.
Showminder was about to set out after the leader when he hit a flat spot, he threw his head up and Robbie Dolan had to go for the whip to which he responded and managed to recover to win the race.
To Portelli’s surprise he returned with blood in his mouth but thankfully it emerged Showminder had just bit his tongue coming to the home turn, therefore explaining the flat spot.
“I didn’t know what happened. I thought he might have had a heart attack or something when he lost his balance and threw his head up and started to wobble about but he came back with blood everywhere,’’ he said.
“He’d taken a slice out of his tongue. He must have opened his mouth and hit the bridle a bit and closed his mouth on top of his tongue.
“He was gone and then he picked himself up and went to the line again.’’
Showminder wins at Kensington on June 3
Portelli considered stepping up to Saturday company with Showminder but elected to keep him in the same class in the Ranvet Power Handicap (1550m) while he’s still reasonably well treated.
Dolan rides the four-year-old, $6 with TAB, again and Portelli didn't opt for a gear change as he's confident the job won’t be as tricky this time around.
“He’s had a good few weeks and while he has a lowish benchmark we wanted to keep him to Wednesday company,’’ he said.
“You’re better off to be a top weight in a race with lesser opposition than be a light weight against opposition you probably couldn’t beat anyway. I reckon he will get to Saturday company but he has been a work in progress.
“His biggest problem is he ducks in behind horses under pressure but Robbie knows him well and he’ll keep him straight.”
Stablemate Estrado is also chasing successive wins and three-year-old is in familiar surrounds in the TAB Handicap (1100m) following a popular victory as a well backed favourite over the same course two weeks ago.
While the filly, $8 this time with TAB, takes on the boys she’ll carry the same weight (55.5kg), jump from the same barrier (two) and has similar wet conditions to those she faced in her easy last start victory.
“She’s done well since, she likes it wet and there are plenty of positives there,’’ Portelli said.
“It’s a matter of hopefully she jumps well and (Glen Boss) can position up without using her again and we get the same luck as last time.
“You don’t need explosive turn of foot on a heavy track you just need a fit horse.’’
Portelli kicks off the day with Zounate chasing his first win in the Hyland EOFY Sale Plate (1550m) and he expects the gelding ($6) to be on the speed and give a good sight.