Colt to make return ahead of Time

Sydney trainer Gary Portelli realised a couple of months ago his three-year-old colt Time To Reign would be ready to return to racing early than anticipated and needed to find a suitable race.

He settled on the Kensington Stakes (1000m) on Saturday at Flemington for the once highly-rated two-year-old.

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Time To Reign hasn’t raced since he finished fifth in the Golden Slipper last March after Portelli was forced to abandon spring plans after he was struck down with a virus.

Portelli said Time To Reign was putting on too much weight because of the time spent in the paddock and had to bring him back into work.

“There was nothing in Sydney and this is a stakes race so it’s a good kicking off point for a valuable colt. I was trying to find a suitable sprint and found this race,” Portelli said.

Time To Reign is a half-brother to Portelli’s Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign.

Portelli said Time To Reign struggled to handle the heavy Rosehill track in the Slipper.

Time For Reign will wear blinkers for the first time in the Kensington Stakes.

“He’ll get to a rail, whether that’s the inside rail or the outside rail that will be up to Damien Oliver. (The) 1000m is perfect for him after such a long time off,” Portelli said.

Time To Reign will return in the Kensignton Stakes. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Time To Reign recently won a Warwick Farm trial by 9½ lengths but Portelli wasn’t getting carried away.

“He ran well but if you looked at the time it was on a par with the other trials. The best thing about the win was with the blinkers on he didn’t wander around,” he said.

Portelli said he wouldn’t make any future autumn plans for Time To Reign until after the Kensignton.

“He’s got the makings of a valuable stallion and he’ll be directed to races which can increase his value. As for his future targets he’ll tell us where he’s going.” he said.

“He was quite an immature horse and he’s developed physically. He’s much tougher.”

O’BRIEN LOOKING FORWARD TO BANQUO’S RETURN

Danny O’Brien has a good opinion of three-year-old colt Banquo but is keeping an open mind as to what direction he will head with him in the coming weeks.

As is stands, Banquo is being aimed at the Australian Guineas and he also holds a nomination for the All Star Mile.

“I’m not sure just what he is. He could be a sprinter-miler, he could be a sprinter. We’ll get through this run and know alot more,” O’Brien said.

Banquo resumes in the 1100m sprint for three-year-olds at Flemington and O’Brien is confident he will perform well.

Danny O’Brien expects a good performance from Banquo in his return at Flemington. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

At his last preparation, Banquo won three races in a row last prep, including a stakes race at Flemington at 1400m before he finished a close-up fourth in the Sandown Guineas behind Pretty Brazen.

In each of those races Banquo settled close to the lead but Damien Oliver suggested to O’Brien he be ridden colder, which they did in a recent trial at Werribee.

“I think he’s got the makings of a nice horse but we’ll know more after the race,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said the All-Star Mile would loom as a potential race for Banquo if he could win the Australian Guineas.

Originally published asColt to make return ahead of Time

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