Portelli keeps Slipper ambitions in check

Gary Portelli, trainer of She Will Reign
Gary Portelli is attempting to train the winner of the Golden Slipper in consecutive years.

Gary Portelli drew the same barrier as last year before winning the Golden Slipper, but getting the same result won’t be easy.

After Secret Lady came up with gate 13 for Saturday’s $3.5 million feature at Rosehill, the Warwick Farm trainer said the filly would need luck in running, and then some.

“She Will Reign drew 13 and came into 11 and this filly is going to do the same,” Portelli said.

However, that is where the comparisons end as he acknowledged Secret Lady is not in the same class as her illustrious stablemate, who powered to victory under Melbourne-based jockey Ben Melham.

“We’re going to need a brilliant ride from Ben this time because obviously he hasn’t got the cattle under him,” Portelli said.

William Hill

“She’s honest, and if she ran in the top five or six we’d be over the moon.”

She Will Reign ploughed through a wet track for a convincing Slipper win and continued her Group One success in the spring when claiming the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The filly will be attempting to add to her record after drawing the rails in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

She Will Reign is one of the favourites for the William Reid but Secret Lady is a $101 Slipper outsider.

“We know we’re up against it this time, where last year I thought it was my race to lose, more so than to win. I thought we had the winner,” Portelli said.

Secret Lady finished fourth in the Group Two Magic Night Stakes in her Slipper lead-up last Saturday.