What a difference a race makes for a two-year-old, Time To Reign dominated the $250,000, Group 2 Chandon S Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday defeating the $1.70 favourite Tassort to more than make up for his fourth in the listed Lonhro Plate at Warwick Farm on February 9th when he was the $1.60 favourite.
Godolphin’s Tassort started with the reputation of being the $4.50 favourite for the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 23rd and the colt was well backed off his debut win in the Golden Gift over 1100m at Rosehill on November 24th.
However, the track received near 20mm of rain over the past week with Soft 7 rating the result. The ability to make up ground was going to be critical.
From the start Jason Collett with Gary Portelli’s Time To Reign was forward in third behind the early leader Cardiff and Brenton Avdulla. Tassort with James McDonald shared last with Born A Warrior and Tommy Berry.
At the 600m the margin from Time To Reign and Tassort was 5L with McDonald trying to rev Tassort up to make up ground in the soft conditions. That was their story for the rest of the contest.
Time To Reign and Collett were three wide at the top of the straight and they kept to the middle of the track taking over the lead with 200m to run. Behind and further out Tassort was trying hard, but effectively the race was over as while Tassort and McDonald closed the gap to 2 1/4L at the line, Time To Reign already had the vital black type win on the page.
Tassort (Brazen Beau) was well clear of Born A Warrior (I Am Invincible) and Berry in third, the margin 3 1/4L , with McLaren fourth a further 1/2L away.
The time was 1.04.38 with the final 600m in 35.77. Time To Reign paid $11.00 on fixed odds and $9.50 on the tote.
Time To Reign and Jason Collett, picture Sportpix.com.au
“Coming to the races today I was concerned that the speed would be on and maybe things would not go to plan. He got a really bad bump out of the gates and Jason gave him a good dig and then he got running again and then the speed was good so he got into a lovely spot,” said Portelli.
“I was actually worried as he did not appear to be travelling comfortably enough to pick up, but gee what a nice horse he is.”
Portelli said that he was deflated after the fourth at The Farm.
“Being a $1.60 favourite you are expected to win and he just did a lot wrong. That run probably toughened him up for today,” he said,
“I have a little Slipper at home and I would love to pair up with another and I think I have the right horse now.
“We will stick to the plan and he will go round in the Todman in two weeks’ time. It will be 1200m and it might be a heavy track on Slipper Day so you want them fit,” he said.
“Excellent run. He was not ideally suited to the soft ground and when he gets good ground you will see him,” said McDonald of Tassort’s placing.
Time To Reign, by Time For War out of the Charge Forward mare Courgette, is a half-brother to 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign also trained by Portelli..
Apart from his fourth at his home track he has won each of his other starts to now have the record of three from four with stakes of $309,950 for the relatively new ownership group of prominent names including of Mr M D Holland, Mr J A Allison, Mrs K A Allison, Mr G Bachell, Miss C P Ewe, Mr D J Grant, Mr D Healey, Mrs S E Healey, Mr R S Wallace, Carpe Diem, Grant Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Maguire Breeding & Racing, Darby Racing Courgette Syndicate, Mr C E Holt, Glenlogan Park, Kitchwin Hills, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd and Whitby Bloodstock Pty Ltd.
Time To Reign firmed from $26.00 into $11.00 with TAB.com.au for the Golden Slipper with McLaren drifting from $11.00 out to $15.00 and sixth placed Faretti from $15.00 out to $26.00. Tassort remains as the $4.50 favourite.
The Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) is at Randwick on March 9th.
Warwick Farm's Gary Portelli, picture Sportpix.com.au
Silver Slipper, photo finish picture ATC