The Group II ATC Silver Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday was won in exciting style by Time to Reign, a $325,000 Magic Millions purchase from the daft of Yarraman Park, who will offer his full sister at the 2019 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Trainer Gary Portelli admitted he was gutted when Time To Reign lost his unbeaten record when out of a place in the Lonhro Plate at Warwick Farm on February 9, but the smile was back on his face when the Time For War colt downed the Golden Slipper favourite Tassort to win the Silver Slipper.
Caught three wide early, Jason Collett slotted Time To Reign one out in third spot as the speedy Cardiff cut out the early sectionals.
When Cardiff sent out the distress signals at the 300m, Time To Reign pounced. Tassort was back second last and had plenty of ground to make up but his run seemed to level out at the 100 metres and Time To Reign held him by two and a quarter lengths with first-starter Born A Warrior (I Am Invincible) a further three and a quarter lengths back in third.
A winner of his first two starts at Rosehill and Randwick, Time To Reign advances his record to three wins from four starts with earnings of $309,950.
A half-brother to Portelli’s 2017 ATC Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, Time To Reign is back on track for the Golden Slipper, however, Portelli said it had been a tough two weeks since his defeat.
“I couldn’t have been any more deflated (after Warwick Farm),” Portelli said.
“He was a $1.60 favourite and was expected to win. He did a lot wrong. He is only a young horse and it’s amazing how often a two-year-old can do the wrong thing on their home track. They get too brave, they know where they are and try to get it over and done with too quickly. That run probably toughened him up for today.
“I came here today concerned the speed was really going to be on and maybe things wouldn’t go to plan
“He got a really bad bump out of the gate and Jason gave him a good dig. The speed was on and he got into a lovely spot.
“I was worried he wasn’t travelling comfortably enough to pick up, but gee what a nice horse he is.
“We will stick with the plan and start him in the Todman in two weeks and get that 1200 metres under his belt.
“If it’s a heavy track on Slipper day you want them fit so if he pulls up well that’s the plan.”
The result is perfect timing for Yarraman Park who will offer a full sister to Time For Reign and half-sister to She Will Reign as lot 412 at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. She is the fourth foal of Courgette, who was sold for $2.1 million at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale last year.