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New talent emerges for HK-bound Portelli

With veteran sprinter Rebel Dane grabbing headlines, trainer Gary Portelli has received a boost with the Gerry Harvey-owned Improvement emerging as a promising new talent for the stable.

Sent out the $3.10 favourite, the three-year-old filly foreshadowed her potential by winning the TAB Maiden Plate (1200m) at Canterbury on Wednesday.

Loveletter ($9.50) and Peaceful Sea ($4.20) filled the placings.

Portelli is preparing to fly to Hong Kong with dual Group One winner Rebel Dane for the International Sprint on December 11.

“It’s good to get a winner for Gerry in town,” Portelli said.

“I’ve only had a few horses for him but this is the best one.”

While Improvement led all the way, Portelli believes she will be a better horse when she can take a sit behind the speed.

“When she’s got a horse to run down at trackwork she’ll run down anything,” Portelli said.

“I’d like to see her when she steps up in grade.

“She’s a little fighter.”

Improvement was beaten by Montreal in a maiden at Hawkesbury when she made her debut on November 19.

Montreal is a horse rated highly by trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and he is down to run at Rosehill on Saturday.

Bong Bong Cup form held up strongly for nine-year-old Tradtri as he won the #TheRaces Handicap (1900m).

The veteran was narrowly defeated in the picnic Cup and returned to city grade to pull away by 3-1/4 lengths.

Trainer Robert Price, who rides Tradtri’s work, said the plan was originally to retire the horse after he gave the owners a day out at Bong Bong.

“I said ‘geez guys, this horse is going too good to retire, let’s give him another crack’,” Price said.

Godolphin’s imported English jockey James Doyle narrowly missed out on making his first ride during his Australian stint a winner with Miami Dade finishing second to Kingsguard in the final race.

Doyle arrived in Australia on Monday to replace James McDonald who is not riding after being charged with a betting offence.

He has five rides at Rosehill on Saturday – four for Godolphin and the Peter Robl-trained Ninth Legion in the Group Three Festival Stakes.

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