Horse Racing

Portelli hopes rain will ease tough Golden Rose draw


Image: Steve Hart

Two-year-old last season champion Fireburn faced a tough task from a wide gate in the Golden Rose

Gary Portelli admits a draw outside the fence dealt with Fireburn Yellow rose chance is a crushing blow and without her portal, he would enter the Group 1 race with extreme confidence.

With the scratch of the Best Of Bordeaux, who instead settles Heritage Share (1100m)the Yellow sandals the heroine will jump from the 15/16 fence in the 1400m feature on Saturday.

If she came up with a better alley, Portelli said, “I think she just won.”

Now, the coach is counting on luck during the run and the vagaries of a rain-affected track if he or she becomes only the second Slipper winner since Forensics to capture. Yellow roseand was the first to do so in the spring.

“The fantasy is that she gets every opportunity from a good gate. Now we have to hope the rain plays a part in the draw and gets us out,” said Portelli.

“Although I think she should win, she will need more luck than she will have if she draws a good gate.

“It’s really hard to go to races confident that you can win (from that draw).”

Portelli started the spring with plans to give Fireburn a two-start campaign and is unlikely to deviate from that path, despite putting jockey Brenton Avdulla on standby to ride her on Flight Stakes next week.

The more likely outcome is that she’ll hit the paddock after Saturday.

“We’ve put Brenton on hold as a precaution, but that’s not what we’re aiming for so that will be an afterthought,” he said.

“She’s probably going to have to have a really big run over the weekend and I didn’t know she could peak twice in a week.”

Stable player Sejardan fared better in the draw with barrier eight and Portelli is looking forward to extending him to the 1400m for the first time.

“It was a situation where we thought he was a 1400-meter horse and he had no chance to race above the 1400,” he said.

“He won against Todman, he won the (Gold) Gift, he was unlucky in (Inglis) Millennium when he got knocked out.

“He was a good pony and he had more money than most of the horses in the race. You would hope that if he danced well, he would give himself all the hope. “

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