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Portelli, owners weigh up Slipper options

She Will Reign winning the Inglis Nursery at Randwick
Trainer Gary Portelli envisages giving She Will Reign two chances to make it into the Golden Slipper

Unbeaten She Will Reign looks certain to be locked into a Golden Slipper campaign that will be similar to the one that laid the foundation for the last filly to win the race.

While trainer Gary Portelli flagged a possible Blue Diamond Stakes bid in the afterglow of She Will Reign’s runaway Inglis Nursery Stakes win, the Golden Slipper has emerged as the race of choice for connections.

She Will Reign was elevated to outright Golden Slipper favouritism after making it two wins from as many starts at Randwick on Saturday.

The filly is already a bargain buy at $20,000 after her Nursery win took her earnings to more than $300,000 but only $25,000 counts towards the Golden Slipper order of entry because her Randwick victory came in a race restricted to yearling sale graduates.

She will have to figure prominently in a Golden Slipper lead-up race to ensure she gets into the field.

Without making a firm commitment, Portelli says the Silver Slipper Stakes and the Reisling Stakes have emerged as qualification races.

“We’ll give her a little break now and work out a proper program over the next few days,” Portelli said.

If Portelli and the Darby Racing team settle on the Silver Slipper and Reisling, the program will almost mirror Mossfun’s run towards her 2014 Golden Slipper win.

In 2014, Mossfun won the Nursery, returned after a mini break to win the Widden Stakes and the Silver Slipper and finished second in the Reisling.

She was at her best on a rain-affected track a fortnight later to claim the Golden Slipper.

A wet 2017 Golden Slipper could also work to She Will Reign’s advantage after she recorded a four-length winning margin in the Nursery on a heavy track.

“The rain-affected track was one of the reasons we ran at Randwick,” Portelli said.

“The owners said at least we’ll get a feel for whether she handles the wet if she is good enough to go into a decent race down the track.”

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