TIME To Reign has Gary Portelli dreaming of another Golden Slipper after the horse won his second consecutive race at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The half-brother to 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign beat Jonah by three-quarters of a length but more importantly secured another win.
Portelli said he was nervous at the 200m when the Team Snowden runner loomed up and looked like he was going to go past his horse but Time To Reign fought back to win.
“He’s still so green and he doesn’t know what to do,’’ Portelli said. “He straightened up and half waited for them.
“He was out there by himself. I know what he’s like at home and when he lets rip he doesn’t hold back but he did this thing where he sort of looked at everything and just did enough to keep in front of the other horse.
“I saw the second horse looming quickly. I knew we had a bit of a weight disadvantage and I was thinking ‘maybe it was going to pick us up late’ but he saw him coming then had a good dig and did enough to get the job done.”
Portelli will spell the colt and with two wins in the bag before Christmas the pressure is off — for now.
Time To Reign will likely bypass the Magic Millions carnival in Queensland and concentrate on a Golden Slipper preparation.
“We have to improve a lot off today to win a Golden Slipper, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s only his first preparation and he’s certainly going the right way,” Portelli said.
“I think with the pedigree he’s got, we’d be mad not to aim at the Golden Slipper.
“We’ll more than likely go to the Silver Slipper first-up like we did last time with the girl (She Will Reign) but he needs to get a bit more courage and start to do things better late.”
Portelli said his colt’s ability got him over the line this time and next preparation he’ll race differently and try to find cover.
“We needed to win today so it was a matter of getting him running but next preparation we’ll be trying to get him in behind one,” he said.
Josh Parr rode four winners at Rosehill while most of the other top line jockeys were in Melbourne. But Hall of Fame hoop Darren Beadman said he was in the elite category. “He is super underrated. He’s a very, very good horseman and very good rider and whenever we put him on he gets the job done for us,” Beadman said. Parr was naturally smiling all day. “It makes me proud that I can perform at a high level with my dad here watching,” he said.
Stewards will talk with Team Hawkes during the week for an explanation into Dawn Dawn’s poor run at Rosehill. She was well backed but finished last to Newsfan with Jay Ford on board. Acting chief steward Philip Dingwall asked Ford how he was asked to ride the horse. “I was just told to find cover wherever that be,” he said. “She wanted to hang in and was short in her action on the line.”
Raqeeq flops again
Again Raqeeq was well backed and again he lost. He’s started at single-figure odds at his past 10 starts for just one win, eight starts ago, yet punters can’t get enough of him. Surely Saturday was his last chance when six lengths fourth to Cosmologist. “He travelled well but the tempo backed off so I popped out to keep him comfortable rather than restrain him,” Jay Ford told stewards. “I just don’t think he ran the 2400m. He’s a better horse in a big field with more pressure on but he’s struggling at these distances.” Adam Hyeronimus offered no reason for Social Element’s flop in the same race when fifth after getting an easy time of it out in front but was the first beaten. “It was disappointing after going so well last start. He was his normal self and pulled up well,” he said.
Why were there only a handful of horses in the two-year-olds’ race at Rosehill? There’s still time but history says it’s important to get racing and secure a win before Christmas if you want to contend in the Golden Slipper next March. You would think we’d get more than six runners in Saturday’s race. After winning with Time To Reign Gary Portelli said “the pressure is off us”.
Pride to muscle in on Winterbottom
Joe Pride watched as Group 1 winner Ball Of Muscle had a track gallop between races at Rosehill. Pride is preparing him for a tilt at the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth on December 1 at Ascot. He tried to win the race with Terravista a few years back but he ran below his best before coming back to win the Group 1 Lightning Stakes. “Ball Of Muscle isn’t as good as Terravista but he’s tougher and more durable horse when travelling so I figure he’s the right horse to take there,” Pride said.
The Tenor had excuses for its lacklustre eight lengths fourth to Roheryn. He pulled up 1 of 5 lame.
Was the next star of Australian racing born this week? Multiple Group 1 winning mare Miss Finland gave birth to a Shalaa colt for Arrowfield Stud. There will be some pressure on him
to perform when he gets to the track.
To celebrate Halloween in America, Arlington Park sent this picture out of a well-known Australian jockey who was riding in America not so long ago. Guess who it is? (Look closely at the silks).
Cummings flying high
You have to hand it to James Cummings. He’s less than two years into his role as head trainer of Godolphin’s Australian operation and he’s racked up more than 300 wins. For a young man he’s done extremely well in the high-pressure job. His judgment and placing of horses (with the help of his team) has been extremely good. “The horses have been running in super form,” said stable rep Darren Beadman.
Racing Victoria initially tweeted that 7.5 million people worldwide were expected to watch the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday. The error was quickly corrected to 750m people. We knew the great race hadn’t lost its popularity.
The last thing you’d expect to see go wrong on a racecourse is the photo finish camera losing power, which is what happened at Flemington on Saturday before the Lexus Stakes.
Surely now all is forgiven after Hugh Bowman again got Ranier home in Melbourne on Saturday. He copped some flak for his ride on the Godolphin horse two starts back but he’s won on him twice since and his ride yesterday was sensational.
HORSES TO FOLLOW: Newsfan (top mare), Roheryn (future star), Chewbacca (improves next time)
ONES TO SACK: The Lord Mayer (looks tired), Raqeeq (lets punters down again)
RIDE OF THE DAY: Josh Parr on Newsfan (perfect ride)
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He’s got the attitude of a star, he’s got the action of a star, he’s won twice like a star and he’s well on his way,” said Josh Parr after riding Roheryn.