By Ray Hickson
All eyes will be on Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign when she steps out in a trial at Warwick Farm on Friday that has been dubbed a ‘mini-Everest’.
The filly contests an 800m trial alongside her stablemate Single Bullet, Everest favourite Chautauqua and Joe Pride’s Terravista, also in the mix for a slot, plus Doncaster winner It’s Somewhat.
Trainer Gary Portelli expects She Will Reign to win the trial simply because that’s her nature but warns punters not to look too much into what will not be a taxing gallop.
‘’I know that she will be very competitive, she can’t help herself, she has to win everything,’’ Portelli said.
‘’I imagine she will be out there to win the trial for herself but we won’t be pushing her too hard to do it.
‘’I’d still like to see her win the trial for the simple fact winners like to win. Mentally it will keep her in good place.
‘’But all these horses will be out to have an easy trial.
‘’Everyone will be expecting to see something special on Friday but Joe Pride is giving his horse an easy trial, I want to give her an easy trial, Chautauqua will have an easy one and my other bloke will be having an easy time too.’’
Ben Melham, who is hoping to make the weight to ride She Will Reign in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14, will be on board the filly on Friday for the first time since the Slipper.
Portelli said She Will Reign’s second trial, sometime early next month, will be when the three-year-old will begin to get serious.
One thing Portelli can say for certain is there’s more of She Will Reign than there was in the autumn as she’s stacked on more than 40kg.
Last Friday she weighed in at 498kg – she won the Slipper in March at just 455kg – and Portelli predicts she’ll race at around the 490kg mark.
‘’She’s thicker and wider through the hips, stronger through the shoulder you find she has more muscle mass,’’ he said.
‘’She’s just a different horse to what she was last time.
‘’I think she was immature and was still able to beat the hoses that were mature so I’m pretty excited to see what she does in this preparation.’’
Portelli said he had a glimpse of what could be this spring in She Will Reign’s track gallop at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.
With regular rider Glenn Lee in the saddle, she worked with the stable’s best trackworker Straturbo and left him gasping for air.
‘’To the eye it looked like she hadn’t done enough work because she was still pulling the rider out of the saddle and Straburbo looked to be going all right,’’ he said.
‘’They stopped the clock at 21.5 for the last 400m on the course proper.
‘’Not many can match it with Straturbo in trackwork and Jess Taylor who rode him said he was at her top and slapping up so the fact the filly was pulling the rider out of the saddle might mean she’s gone to another level.’’