Portelli us­ing Mis­sile as a guide for She Will Reign’s spring

The Sportsman Midweek - - Warwick Farm Preview - MATHEW TOOGOOD

SHE Will Reign is set to make her new sea­son re­turn in a starstud­ded Mis­sile Stakes at Rose­hill with trainer Gary Portelli an­tic­i­pat­ing the dual Group 1 win­ning sprinter can stretch out in dis­tance this prepa­ra­tion.

Satur­day’s Group 2 1200m race is ex­pected to fea­ture a host of Group 1 per­form­ers and Portelli says She Will Reign’s per­for­mance will be cru­cial in de­ter­min­ing spring plans.

“She looks fan­tas­tic,” Portelli said. “The prepa­ra­tion will all hinge on what she does in this race, as far as dis­tance we go up to.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing how she goes. It’s go­ing be a very high-pres­sure race, I’ve got no doubt, with the horses they’re spruik­ing go­ing into the Mis­sile first-up and try­ing to get into The Ever­est.

“It just might open the race up for some­thing swoop­ing and that’s the way I want her rid­den.”

She Will Reign pow­ered home from back in the field to win the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) first-up last spring and Portelli wants her rid­den in a sim­i­lar fash­ion on Satur­day.

James McDon­ald has rid­den She Will Reign in her two re­cent bar­rier tri­als but will ride Pier­ata.

Ker­rin McEvoy, who won the Moir on She Will Reign, has been booked for the Mis­sile.

“I want her to get back and once jockey de­cides to go just keep go­ing and hope­fully she’s good enough to match it with these good sprint­ers over 1200m,” Portelli said.

But has his sus­pi­cions the 1200m might prove short of She Will Reign’s best dis­tance now she is a bit older.

“James McDon­ald rode her in the tri­als and said if he hadn’t have known she won a Golden Slip­per, to him was miler,” Portelli said.

“And that’s what we’ve been think­ing for a while. As she’s got older her body shape has changed.

“She’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent horse to look at struc­turally. I think her gal­lop­ing ac­tion has changed and her at­ti­tude is re­laxed.

“I’m hop­ing down the track if she can step up in dis­tance, maybe a Myer Clas­sic or some­thing might be a race for her.”

The Group 1 Myer Clas­sic (1600m) for fil­lies and mares is at Flem­ing­ton in early Novem­ber.

She Will Reign is in her fi­nal prepa­ra­tion for Portelli and Darby Rac­ing af­ter be­ing sold to an undis­closed north­ern hemi­sphere buyer.

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