Warwick Farm trainer Gary Portelli has stuck with a proven winning formula by sending stable favourite Testashadow to Eagle Farm.
Testashadow will return to Queensland, where he has had considerable success, and run in Saturday’s Clear Insurance Open Handicap (1600m).
He will be chasing his first win since the Group Three Festival Stakes at Rosehill in December 2017.
The now eight-year-old has been a warhorse for Portelli who has never hidden his affection for Testashadow, the winner of eight races and $1.4 million prize money.
He has been consistent albeit without winning over the past couple of years.
Portelli believes at his age Testashadow is finding Sydney racing a touch beyond him.
“I had him in a benchmark race and it was littered with stakes winners,” Portelli said.
“It is very competitive here but especially so when these horses get a bit older.
“He has been great for the connections. He has raced on Magic Millions day four times winning the Cup one year.
“I think when horses get to his age you have to find races they can win.”
Portelli has made an art form of finding the right races for his horses in Brisbane during carnival time in Sydney.
He sent Single Bullet to Brisbane last week and the gelding was far too good for an open handicap field.
“Single Bullet needed to win again and hopefully it will be the same for Testashadow,” Portelli said.
“Brisbane racing is strong but it is fair to say slightly lower than the Sydney spring.
“He has won a trial since his last run which was three weeks ago.”
Testashadow will have the services of in-form apprentice Nick Keal who will take 3kg off his 58.5kg.
“Nick is getting plenty of credit in recent weeks and the claim is a big help,” Portelli said.
“Testashadow has never been to Eagle Farm but if he handles the track he should be thereabouts.”
Another Warwick Farm trainer, Joe Pride, has sent last year’s Newcastle Cameron Handicap winner New Tipperary to Brisbane in search of an overdue win in the open handicap.
Pride decided not to claim on topweight New Tipperary and has booked senior rider Matt McGillivray.