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Golden Slipper-winning trainer Gary Portelli will get a guide on his prospects for a defence when he saddles up at least two runners against the second favourite at Rosehill.

Exceltic will make his debut in Saturday’s Canonbury Stakes in which Dio D’Oro is also scheduled to run but Patron Black is more likely to run a day earlier at Canberra.

“I will start two, Exceltic and Dio D’Oro and we’ll do our best to beat Performer but it will be hard,” Portelli said.

“Corey Brown will ride Exceltic and Winona Costin is booked for Dio D’Oro.

“I’ve entered Patron Black for Canberra but there are a couple of smart ones nominated there so we’ll have a think about it.”

The Chris Waller-trained Performer is the $8 second favourite for the Golden Slipper on March 24 with Magic Millions winner Sunlight at $6.

Exceltic has been to the barrier trials three times for three wins and Portelli is excited about his future while Dio D’Oro finished second to Estijaab on debut last Saturday week.

The stable will be represented by Secret Lady in the Widden Stakes after deciding not to take her to Melbourne for the Blue Diamond Preview when she drew a wide barrier.

Secret Lady won over 1100m at Rosehill in November before a second to Quackerjack at Randwick and fifth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast earlier this month.

“She is as fresh as a daisy and is a happy horse and I think she is ready to run a big race,” Portelli said.

She Will Reign, the 2017 Golden Slipper winner, will have a trot and canter on Tuesday after missing a gallop between races at Rosehill on Saturday with minor swelling in a fetlock.

“She had a swim today and has had a few easy days,” Portelli said.

“She is so fit that missing a gallop won’t hurt and she will be ready for the Inglis race on Saturday week.”

She Will Reign, who won the Group One Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley in her first start as a three-year-old, is scheduled to meet boom Melbourne sprinter Nature Strip in the $250,000 Inglis Sprint at Warwick Farm on February 10.

 
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