Gary Portelli will wait to see what an improving Sydney weather forecast brings before giving up the chance to win a restricted race worth as much as some Group Ones.
Until Friday, Portelli thought he was in the box seat to train the Inglis Nursery winner with impressive filly She Will Reign the shortest-priced Villiers day runner at Randwick on Saturday.
She Will Reign is odds-on to claim the $500,000 for graduates from this year’s round of Inglis yearling sales.
But Randwick was downgraded to the heavy range on Friday morning, a rating that puts She Will Reign in extreme doubt to back up from her eight-and-a-half length win at Kembla Grange last week.
Portelli is adamant he won’t risk She Will Reign in the mud, but he will give weather experts every chance to be on the money with their forecast for clearing skies.
“I’d hate to scratch prematurely then see the day turn out to be a drying track and get up into the slow range,” he said.
That’s why Portelli is preparing himself for a sleepless night as prepares to wait until close to Saturday’s scratching deadline before making a call.
“If (the race) wasn’t worth so much money there wouldn’t be any decision to be made,” Portelli said.
“But it’s worth two hundred and eighty thousand (dollars) to the winner. It’s like winning a Group One so it’s a very serious decision to make.
“We’ve got to leave it to the death.”
Portelli said She Will Reign had thrived in the week since her Kembla Grange win, a victory that took her to the top of Golden Slipper betting charts.
“I know it sounds silly because she has won by eight (lengths), but she looked a bit soft,” he said.
“She looked like she would improve with the run and that would have her spot-on for the weekend.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au