She Will Reign’s memorable G1 Golden Slipper Stakes victory has sparked hysterical scenes at Rosehill.
From Middlebrook Station’s Jilly Henderson – who raised the winner – to trainer Gary Portelli and the filly’s wild group of owners, there was utter jubilation after the $20,000 Inglis Classic graduate careered away in the $3.50 million event.
Benefiting from a perfect Ben Melham ride, She Will Reign found the fence after 200m from a wide barrier, stayed there until the top of the straight before exploding to the lead and never looking like getting run down on a Heavy 10 surface on Saturday.
“I wanted Ben to go forward but he told me he wanted to go back to last and then cut the corner,” Portelli said. “He wanted to ride her like she was the best horse in the race so I left it to him.”
She Will Reign (2f Manhattan Rain – Courgette by Charge Forward) led home a trifecta for the fillies. She won by more than two lengths from Frolic (Husson) and Tulip (Pierro) who was promoted to third ahead of Menari. The favourite Houtzen faded to fifth.
It was a fairytale result for her owners, headed by syndicator Scott Darby, who bought the filly out of the Ambergate Farm draft at last year’s Classic Sale. “She was a standout in her early days on the farm,” Henderson recalled. “She was a cracking foal in the paddock, very correct, strong, a lovely filly “
Her Shamus Award half-sister (Lot 86) will be offered by Yarraman Park at next month’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Manhattan Rain (Encosta de Lago) sired the winner when he stood at Arrowfield Stud. He transferred to Blue Gum Farm at Euroa last month and will stand his first season in Victoria for a $16,500 service fee.