Ronstar has lifted the spirits of his breeders and owners with a successful start to his racing career at Rosehill.
The Zoustar two-year-old held off a late challenge from River Bird to claim the Abercorn Hall Of Fame Handicap (1200m) to give Ron Puiatti and Ron Burns a timely boost.
“They’ve been great stable followers of ours. They put a lot of money into the game, they’ve got broodmares and they bred this horse,” Portelli said.
“A little while ago he was having a conversation with Ronnie (Puiatti) and he was a little bit down and said ‘I haven’t been to Rosehill for about a year and a half with a horse.’
“It’s good to get these blokes back on the right foot.”
The gelding with a sway back led into the straight and then rallied when challenged by River Bird ($13) and won by a short half head.
Canyonero ($7) was 1-1/2 lengths back in third.
Portelli was impressed with $8 Ronstar ($8) after he completed his first gallop anywhere other than his base at Warwick Farm.
“It looked like they had him cold at the 200. He does that at trackwork when they go up to him he goes ‘I’ve got plenty left’,” Portelli said.
“When he turns three, he might be a good little horse.”
Jockey Winona Costin said Ronstar’s dip in his spine stressed her hips but she was happy to ride with the discomfort.
“He’s awkward, he hurts my hips a lot. When I get off him I’ve got to work out the kink,” she said.
“He was just fit enough today, very game and he’s going to get over a bit further in time.”