Tye Angland’s prediction after Single Bullet blew his chance to qualify for the Magic Millions is a step closer to reaching fruition.
After misbehaving in the stalls and starting sluggishly at Wyong in December, Angland urged trainer Gary Portelli to look on the bright side after Single Bullet finished second.
“He was being silly, missed the start and Tye said to me ‘That might have cost you the Magic Millions, but it might have won you the Golden Slipper’,” Portelli said after Single Bullet made the line-up for next weekend’s $3.5 million feature race at Rosehill.
Angland rode Single Bullet for the first time in the Group Three Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) on Saturday and there were no issues as he shaded pre-race favourite Ducimus ($2.10) after a battle down the straight.
Portelli, who already has second favourite She Will Reign lining up in the Golden Slipper, would not predict a Single Bullet victory, but was delighted to have another runner after he pipped Ducimus by a short neck.
While disappointed Single Bullet misfired before the Magic Millions, Portelli said he always felt he was better suited to the premier race for two-year-olds.
“In the back of my mind I thought he’d probably be better off in the Slipper. I’m not saying he’ll win it, but we’re in it,” he said.
“I think She Will Reign is pretty superior at the moment but he’s honest. If things go wrong in the Slipper, and they can do, I’ve got a plan B.”
Connections of the Gerald Ryan-trained Condor Heroes and Albumin saw their Golden Slipper hopes dashed when both were late Pago Pago scratchings.
Condor Heroes, who was the third favourite ($4.90), got away from Tim Clark and after an inspection at the barrier, he was withdrawn.
Albumin was unloaded from gate nine about a minute later after he lost skin off his off hind leg after raising it momentarily in the stall.
Ryan still has Menari ($15) and Trapeze Artist ($26) in the Golden Slipper while Chauffeur is borderline to make the field.