Improvement some consolation for Portelli

The win of Improvement at Randwick has helped offset Gary Portelli’s discontent at the non-appearance of Single Bullet at the meeting.

The trainer withdrew the colt from the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) when the track was rated heavy at the 7.30 scratching time on Saturday morning.

The surface was upgraded to soft before the meeting started.

“If it was a (soft) seven this morning I would have run him,” Portelli said.

“He will go to Moonee Valley next week for a Group Three race instead.”

The track rating was of less concern for Improvement but the 1400 metres of the Clubs NSW Handicap posed a few questions.

Apprentice Lee Magorrian was positive on the $4.20 favourite, taking her to the lead and defying others to run her down.

Collateral ($17) almost did, finishing second by a nose with King Darci ($4.80) another neck third.

“I would have preferred 1300 metres,” Portelli said.

“I told Lee to be positive. If you are going to be the leader, then show your hand early and ride accordingly.

“The runner-up is a good stayer and he hit the line well so it’s a relief she got there.”

The win was the second in town this week for Irish native Magorrian who came to Chris Waller’s stable from New Zealand but had a few problems adjusting to Sydney at first.

“I had a couple of problems early and I wasn’t riding with confidence,” Magorrian said.

“In fairness to Chris Waller and Liam Prior and Charlie Duckworth, they’ve stuck by me and done everything they could for me and it’s paying off now and hopefully I can repay them.”

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