Gary Portelli was initially disappointed with Provide’s last start flop at Canterbury but when the dust settled he realised she should be forgiven.
And what he wants on Thursday at Wyong is the track to be rated Good when they jump in the third race.
The filly ran second on debut to Let It Pour which is top form and that was a true reflection of her ability, not the fifth placing last time out.
“She was very good first-up on a dry track then she was a little bit disappointing second-up at Canterbury on a soft track and we’ll put it down to that,” Portelli said.
“She came off the bridle when the pressure came on and that’s not like her. She should’ve travelled around the corner at least.
Portelli is hoping for dry conditions at Wyong, with his smart filly better suited on top of the ground.Source:Getty Images
“She battled away well but she couldn’t accelerate on the ground. If they got away on her over the last 100m it would’ve been a class factor but the fact she was struggling from the 600m to the 400m made me think it was that ground.
“She’s worked well and we’re going to the races with a horse that’s in really good order. If the rain stays away we’ll see what she can do on top of the ground.”
Portelli has two runners engaged at Wyong.Source:Supplied
The three-year-old is by Olympic Glory and Portelli isn’t just learning about the horse.
She’ll jump from barrier three and Kathy O’Hara rides her again after being on her at her first two career starts.
“She’s my only one (by Olympic Glory),” Portelli said.
“I’ve been watching to see what they do since I got one and some of them are longer distance horses but this filly is out of the daughter of Merlene so she’s a real speedster.
“She’s drawn well and should get a lovely run behind the favourite, Only Mine, and she’ll be in a stalking role.”
Portelli also has the striking Pride Of Dubai colt Long Weekend racing in the last event over 1100m.
He won over 1000m on debut at Kembla Grange when leading all the way after Rachel King gave him a real dig out of the gates.
“I’ve trained his brothers and they’re just fast horses,” Portelli said.
“You put the foot down and go. He’s one of the most magnificent colts you’ll see.”
King rides him once again and she’ll be aggressive from gate seven at a track that suits Ling Weekend’s frontrunning racing style.
“He was a bit fat first-up so we’d like to think he’ll improve enough to buck the trend and go from a maiden win to another win at his next start,” Portelli said.
“I’ve looked at the race and now that the top weight has come out it’s given me more confidence that we can lead at a nice tempo but not a crazy one.”
Long Weekend is just behind the likes of Knight in the betting while Wellington Boot winner Zeftabrook is also first-up in what looks like a good race to end the day.
TRAINER: LONG WINLESS WAIT COULD BE OVER
Avalene hasn’t won a race yet from 18 starts but has placed in half of them and her trainer thinks a win isn’t far away.
And that could be on Thursday at Wyong as the seven-year-old tackles a Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2100m).
Muswellbrook trainer Justin Bowen watched on last start as she ran second at Wyong over Thursday’s trip and he thinks her run of placings can come to an end with a win on Thursday.
“I’ve only had for a handful of runs and she’s certainly a trier who is always turning up and I think we’ve found a nice enough race for her,” he said.
“She’s fit and well and should be running her usual good race.
“We’ve struck a couple of nice horses on the way up and I think we get in well at the weight for this race.”
From barrier three, with a low weight, jockey Tom Sherry needs to ride her to take advantage of the draw or his horse won’t be much of a chance.
“She’s a bit of a grinder so if she can be a tough closer she should be right there from the right gate,” Bowen said.
“Ideally, if she can put herself on the speed she should be very hard to run down.
“She holds her own at the provincials so we thought we’d have another crack and see if we can break through.”
Bowen’s mission to get the Foxwedge mare that elusive win so she move on to the next part of her career in the breeding barn.
“The last people that had her had given up on her and sold her as a broodmare and my owners bought her,” he said.
“Since she’s hit a bit of a purple patch we’ve decided to keep her racing for another 12 months.
“She’s looking like she’s ready to break through and I get confidence that she’ll run out the trip strongly. She could run even further.”
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Originally published asWyong: Why Portelli has changed his tune on flop
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