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Testashadow will look to bounce back in the Festival Stakes

Gary Portelli admits to being disappointed with Testashadow’s first-up run and will alter the gelding’s routine in an attempt to spark him up ahead of the Festival Stakes.

Testashadow will run in a 1050m-barrier trial at Randwick on Tuesday morning ahead of Saturday’s Group Three race at Rosehill.

“It’s unconventional for me to give a horse a trial and a race in the same week but he was fat as a whale after his first run,” Portelli said.

“As he’s getting older I think his metabolism has changed and we just need to do more with him.

“He looked too well before his last race and he pulled up too well so we’ll give him more work.”

Testashadow beat just one runner home when he resumed in the November Handicap on November 18.

The race was won by the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained leader Cabeza De Vaca who is also among the 12 entries for the Festival Stakes (1500m).

Now a six-year-old, Testashadow has raced at the past three Magic Millions carnivals with his best result victory in the Cup (1400m) earlier this year.

But Portelli and his owners are not committed to the Gold Coast again.

“I’m not sure until we know where we are at with him but the other option is to run him in the Villiers next month,” he said.

Straturbo, who is entered for Saturday’s Listed Starlight Stakes, is one who will definitely head north.

“His best form is in Queensland and we are looking at the Bribie Handicap which he won last year,” Portelli said.

“He is very hard to place in Sydney with his benchmark and he goes so well up there.”

Stablemate Lipizzan will not run on Saturday unless there is more rain than predicted this week.

“She is a wet tracker and unless the track is soft or worse she won’t run,” Portelli said.

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