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Gary Portelli says the colt can be a handful around the stables and often needs some extra coaxing to be compliant

Roman Wolf’s headstrong nature can get him into mischief off the track, but on the racecourse it’s an attribute that could hold the two-year-old in good stead.

Trainer Gary Portelli says the colt can be a handful around the stables and often needs some extra coaxing to be compliant.

“If he doesn’t want to go to trackwork in the morning from the stables, he stands in the driveway and won’t move until someone comes along and chases him with a broom,” Portelli said.

“Even at the races the other day we had to get the clerk of the course to take him out of the tie-ups because he just wasn’t going to go.”

Roman Wolf might be the naughty child of the Portelli stable but his attitude has at least translated to some fight and grit on the racetrack.

A debut winner at Wyong, he missed a place at his next two runs then led and kept finding to the line for second to Lucicello over 1150 metres on the Kensington circuit last month.

While the step up to 1300 metres in Saturday’s Australian Turf Club Handicap at Randwick is a gamble, it’s one Portelli is happy to take.

“I like the way he really dug deep under pressure on the Kenso the other day,” Portelli said.

“It’s a different track at Randwick and we may lead, we may not, we have to keep in mind we’ve got to go 1300 metres, so we’ve got to be careful we don’t go too hard.

“But he’s tough as nails, he’s enjoying being in the stable and he’s an absolute swimmer.

“He’s the fittest horse in the race and I think he’ll give a great sight.”

Portelli will also saddle up Dio D’Oro in the Everest Carnival Handicap (1100m) and has put the colt on notice to perform.

A winner of two of his five starts on heavy ground, Dio D’Oro has disappointed his trainer with his two efforts from a spell and Portelli has threatened to geld him unless he steps up to the plate.

“I thought he was there last start to do more than he did, so he’s got being gelded waving above his head,” Portelli said.

“He just hasn’t been putting together what we’ve been hoping to see.”

Dio D’Oro finished sixth to Simply Optimistic first-up and didn’t hit the line with the gusto his trainer expected when fifth to Southern Lad at Randwick last month.

He faces a tough field on Saturday which includes unbeaten three-year-old Sir Elton and last-start Canterbury winner Embracer.

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