Testashadow to the fore at Rosehill

Gary Portelli stable stalwart Testashadow (right) will begin his latest campaign at Rosehill.

Gary Portelli continues to marvel at one of his stable stalwarts as Testashadow prepares to launch his latest campaign at Rosehill.

While the Magic Millions carnival in January is a target, his Warwick Farm trainer has no concerns about Testashadow being ready to make an impression in Saturday’s November Handicap (1400m).

The six-year-old had his first start at Canterbury in February 2014 and 34 races later a $50,000 yearling at the 2013 Magic Millions sale has earned more than $1.2 million.

“To win $1.2 million, that’s just crazy. You’d never have thought that,” Portelli said.

Testashadow was sent to Portelli after being picked out by Elite Thoroughrbeds’ Adrian Allan who then assembled an ownership group that has frequently had their expectations tempered.

“When we’ve got to the end of each preparation I’ve sort of warned the owners this might be as far as he’s going to go,” Portelli said.

However, Testashadow has repeatedly defied those predictions.

“He’s been a fantastic little horse for setting the bar high for himself,” Portelli said.

“He just keeps proving me wrong, in the right way.”

Testashadow opened his previous preparation with the most lucrative win of his career in the $1 million Magic Millions Cup on the Gold Coast in January.

He also picked up third placings in the Liverpool City Cup, Group Two Ajax Stakes and Hawkesbury Gold Cup.

Portelli said defending the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) appealed but Testashadow might instead target the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in a month.

Testashadow was rated an $8 chance with the TAB on Friday with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Cabeza de Vaca heading the market at $2.60.

“We’re pretty happy with him. His form says he goes well fresh,” Portelli said.

Portelli added he was satisfied Seabring Express ($10) could improve significantly on her last-start eighth when she runs in a Benchmark 74 Handicap (1200m).

“I like her ridden off the pace but at Randwick she was up on the speed against instructions and we saw a very ordinary run from her,” Portelli said.

“She’ll be ridden back this time. She’s a very good filly. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of her.”

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