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Image: Steve Hart
Promising colts Sejardan and Shalatin have booked themselves berths in the Golden Slipper

Gary Portelli has his sights on a second Golden Slipper with Sejardan, who has secured his place in next year’s $5 million race with another impressive performance at Rosehill.

Having been put on ice after taking out the Breeders’ Plate on debut almost five weeks ago, the Sebring colt again rose to the challenge with a narrow but convincing victory in Saturday’s $1 million Golden Gift (1100m).

Portelli already has a Golden Slipper courtesy of She Will Reign and he believes Sejardan has all the hallmarks of a top-class two-year-old.

“He had to do what he did today to prove to me he’s the real deal,” Portelli said.

“It was a strong race and the backmarkers weren’t playing today. He’s just done everything you want to see. He is the real deal.

“My job now is to give him a break and get him back and have him in first-class order for the big one.”

Jason Collett had Sejardan ($5.50) out the back early before peeling to the outside on straightening.

The youngster had to make a long run from near the rear, but he extended nicely down the outside to deny Shalatin ($4.40 fav) by a half-neck with Ojai ($4.80) another long neck away.

The runner-up had to weave his way between horses and raced greenly but was strong late and lost no admirers, with the first two picking up enough prizemoney to secure Golden Slipper starts.

“We are in the Golden Slipper now, so that is a good place to be,” Pride said.

“But he will want a bit more racing in the autumn so we can iron out the chinks in his armour.”

Portelli will spell Sejardan and is likely to bring him back for the $2 million Inglis Millennium next year and he hasn’t ruled out the colt tackling the juvenile triple crown of the Golden Slipper (1200m), Sires’ Produce (1400m) and Champagne Stakes (1600m).

Collett said Sejardan was mature beyond his years and a genuine talent.

“I love him. He’s got such a great head on him which is probably the difference at this age,” Collett said.

“Like Gary said, he’s got an old head on young shoulders and it showed today. His race sense is really good for a horse that’s only had one trial and a few starts.”

 
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