Redemption For Darby Racing as She Will Reign Reigns in Golden Slipper
Mark Smith - Saturday, 18 March 2017

Twelve months after Darby Racing's $10,000 filly Yankee Rose came close to running down Capitalist in the Golden Slipper, the Gary Portelli-trained She Will Reign carried the Darby Racing silks to victory in the world's richest race for two-year-olds.

The daughter of Manhattan Rain lost her unbeaten record at her previous start to Frolic in the Group II Reisling Stakes and it was the Husson filly that got closest at the finish to She Will Reign in the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.

A masterful plan by jockey Ben Melham saw She Will Reign hug the rails coming around the home turn to come from third last to a challenging position in a matter of strides. (photos Steve Hart).


She came clear in the closing stages to defeat Frolic by two and a quarter lengths with the Pierro filly Tulip gaining third on protest from Menari (Snitzel).

This game has taken me a long way," Portelli said after the race.

"I struggled to get through year 10, I was a battler working a night shift in a bakery but my dream was to become a city trainer.

"It just goes to show if there's anyone out there that's not sure what they're doing in life, stick at it and work hard because days like this might come,"

 "It's a great kick along for us. We've been trying to win this race for a long time and I think I'm going to need to watch a replay.


"I'm glad she ran last start on the heavy track, because she flew through it today. Different tracks Randwick and Rosehill too I think.

"It was an absolute peach of a ride. I told him to go out quick, get across because I thought that was the way to go today, and he looked at me and went quiet. He said he'd rather go back and ride her the same way he did in the Silver Slipper.

"She's won a Golden Slipper by three or four lengths, it's unbelievable."


The Melbourne-based Melham admitted to defying instructions to score his biggest win to date.

"What an absolute thrill, the whole way through she has been a little darling this horse and she hasn't put a foot wrong, she is not overly big but I tell you what she certainly makes up for it with all heart," Melham said.

"Gary and the team have done a tremendous job with this filly and has prepared her for a hard Golden Slipper run and you certainly need a fit horse in these conditions today.

"All the credit goes to Gary really he has done a great job and here we are we have won a bloody Slipper."

A $20,000 purchase for Darby Racing from the Ambergate Farm draft (as agent for Middlebrook Station Thoroughbreds) at the 2016 Inglis Classic Yearling sale, She Will Reign advances her record to 4 wins and I second from 5 starts with earnings of $2,555,150. 

She Will Reign is the first foal of the Sydney winning Charge Forward mare Courgette, herself a $25,000 Inglis Premier Yearling.

Courgette is a daughter of the unraced Marscay mare Our Farm Girl a sister to Listed Gimcrack Stakes winner Millie and a half-sister to Listed Winter Cup winner Touch Of Sun (Snippets) out of the Group II Reisling Slipper winner and Group 1 AJC Oaks runner-up Sunshine Sally (Cheraw).

Courgette has a yearling filly by Shamus Award that is entered in the Yarraman Stud draft at the Easter Yearling sale (pictured) and a colt foal by Time For War. (Lot 86)


For leading Victorian nursery, Blue Gum Farm, She Will Reign's rise to the top of the pecking order could have hardly been timelier.

The Group 1 winning half-brother to three-time Champion Sire Redoute's Choice, will stand at Blue Gum Farm in 2017 after beginning his career at Arrowfield Stud.

His champion sire Encosta de Lago made his named at Blue Gum Farm before moving to Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley. 

Race 7 - Longines Golden Slipper
Group 1 - 1200m

Class: Open. Track: Heavy(10). Time: 1:15.04. Sectional Time: 0:38.12 at 600m.
Prizemoney: $3,500,000 - 1st: $2,000,000 2nd: $610,000 3rd: $300,000.
 1   She Will Reign T: G Portelli J: B Melham
$8
54.5
2f   Manhattan Rain x Courgette (Charge Forward )
 Lot 468 2016 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale
Vendor - Ambergate Farm, Scone
Buyer - Darby Racing  $20,000
 2 2.3 Frolic T: M J Freedman J: Tommy Berry
$8
54.5

2f   Husson (ARG) x Leveller (Redoute's Choice )
 Lot 64 2016 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale
Vendor - Vinery Stud, Scone
Buyer - Blue Sky Bloodstock (FBAA)  $100,000
 3 5.1 Tulip T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: K McEvoy
$8
54.5
2f   Pierro x Musidora (Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE) )
Lot 426 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale
Vendor - Curraghmore
Buyer - BBA Ireland/Lindsay Park Racing  $400,000
 4 5.2 Menari T: G A Ryan J: C W Brown
$21
56.5
2c   Snitzel x Isurava (General Nediym )
 5 5.7 Houtzen T: A J Edmonds J: J Lloyd
$4.50
54.5
2f   I Am Invincible x Set To Unleash (Reset )
 6 8.0 Trapeze Artist T: G A Ryan J: Tim Clark
$21
56.5
2c   Snitzel x Treppes (Domesday )
 7 10.5 Diamond Tathagata T: Mark Newnham J: G Schofield
$31
56.5
2c   Hinchinbrook x Maltese (Tale Of The Cat (USA) )
 8 10.9 Veranillo T: J A O'Shea J: B Avdulla
$41
56.5
2c   Medaglia D'Oro (USA) x Shelters (Lonhro )
 9 11.3 Chauffeur T: G A Ryan J: J Parr
$21
56.5
2c   Snitzel x Mirror Mirror (Dehere (USA) )
 10 14.6 Madeenaty T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: Regan Bayliss
$51
54.5
2f   Exceed And Excel x Set For Fame (Reset )
 11 17.4 Pariah T: P and P Snowden J: B Shinn
$10
56.5
2c   Redoute's Choice x Secluded (Hussonet (USA) )
 12 17.5 Trekking T: J A O'Shea J: W Buick
$21
56.5
2c   Street Cry (IRE) x Outdoor (Redoute's Choice )
 13 23.3 Single Bullet T: G Portelli J: T Angland
$31
56.5
2c   Not A Single Doubt x Cheetara (More Than Ready (USA) )
 14 24.2 Formality T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: Ryan Moore
$41
54.5
2f   Fastnet Rock x Jolie's Shinju (JPN) (Jolie's Halo (USA) )
 15 24.4 Teaspoon T: M J Freedman J: D Dunn
$51
54.5
2f   Snitzel x Patronella (Mister C. (USA) )
 16 26.5 Catchy T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: Craig Williams
$6.50
54.5
2f   Fastnet Rock x Cats Whisker (Fusaichi Pegasus (USA) )
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