It was a case of deja vu for trainer Gary Portelli at Rosehill on Saturday as Time To Reign prevailed in a stellar edition of the Group II Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).
Unplaced as an odds-on favourite at Warwick Farm a fortnight ago, Time To Reign ($11) bounced back in the $250,000 feature to emulate the feat of his half-sister She Will Reign, who went on to win the 2017 Golden Slipper for Portelli.
“I was actually worried because I didn’t think he was travelling well enough to pick up but gee what a nice horse he is,” Portelli said.
“(After Warwick Farm) I couldn’t have been much more deflated. When you have a $1.60 favourite you expect them to win but he just did a lot wrong.
“It’s amazing how many times two-year-olds can do the wrong thing on their home track, they know where they are and get too brave and want to get it over and done with too quickly.
“I think that run probably toughened him up for the soft track today.
“It is a bit of deja vu. I have a Slipper at home and would love to get another one to pair it up with. I think I have the right horse to do it.”
The highly-rated Tassort ($1.85) ran on from the tail of the seven-horse field but never posed a threat to the winner, officially beaten 2-1/4 lengths in second, while the Hawkes Racing first-starter Born A Warrior ($10) finished a further 3-1/4 lengths back in third.
Tassort’s rider James McDonald warned punters not to drop off the Godolphin colt.
“Excellent run. He wasn’t suited on that soft ground but put him back onto a firmer track and you’ll get a different result,” he said.
Time To Reign’s dress rehearsal for the Golden Slipper will be the Group II Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 9 where he's expected to again clash with Tassort.
Tassort remains the $4.50 Golden Slipper favourite while Time To Reign has firmed from $26 into $11.