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Colt promising timely return to top form

Smart colt Time To Reign (Time For War) looked set to return to winning ways in the near future following a dominant winning trial performance at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.

The Gary Portelli-trained 3-year-old jumped quickly to lead and was kept under a tight rein throughout by Rachel King before crossing the line with 2.5l to spare.

Time To Reign won two of his first three starts last season before adding the G2 Silver Slipper to his record and was spelled after finishing fifth in the G1 Golden Slipper S., a race won by his half-sister She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain) for Portelli in 2017.

“He’s going to run at Rosehill on Saturday over 1100 metres. It’s a Benchmark race and he’ll carry topweight, but he should be able to cope with that,” Portelli’s Racing Manager James Fathers said.

“It hasn’t really worked out very well for him as we brought him back pre-coronavirus with a view to going to Brisbane and then all those races for him were taken away.

“Also, he’s a valuable stallion and we didn’t want him to go up there on his own and strappers that didn’t know him. With a horse that valuable, you wouldn’t want anything to happen."

ime To Reign has raced just once since the Golden Slipper, finishing fourth in the Listed Kensington S. at Flemington.

“We had him back and he had one trial and went really well and five days later he had a temperature and a virus that knocked him sideways so he went back out,” Fathers said.

“The tricky thing is that he’s ended up not been in at the right time with limited winter options. There was some talk that they were going to program some black type races for Sydney to make up for Queensland, but that now seems to be off the table.

“We’ll start him off at Rosehill with the option of giving him a quick spell after and come back for the spring or keep him up and have him rock-hard fit for the early part of the spring.”

Time To Reign was bought by Darby Racing, De Burgh Equine and Portelli for $325,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. He was offered by Yarraman Park Stud.

Portelli also won a 2-year-old heat over 740 metres with Heads Will Roll (Dissident) in the hands of Louise Day. They disputed the pace and the gelding was allowed to run home under his own steam to score by a narrow margin.

“We were pleased with him, he’s had a few trials now so he knows what it’s about and he’s come on gradually. He’s a late-maturing type for sure and quite a rangy horse,” Fathers said. “He looked pretty professional .

“He’ll go straight to the races, as long as he comes out of it okay. There’s a race at Newcastle on Saturday week, a maiden handicap over 1200 metres and that’s probably the first one we’ll look at."

Portelli purchased Heads Will Roll at the Gold Coast where he was offered by Newgate. He is out of Headsup (NZ) (Thorn Park), a five-time winner and stakes performer from the family of last Saturday’s G2 Dane Ripper S. winner Love You Lucy (Love Conquers All).

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