It’ has already been a golden year for trainer Gary Portelli who aims to keep the theme going for a little while longer.
She Will Reign won the Golden Slipper and now Portelli has an audacious plan to win two Gold Cups in less than a week with stable favourite Testashadow.
The five-year-old lines up in Saturday’s Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) with a view to running in the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) six days later.
“Hawkesbury will be the first dry track he’s been on in ages so that will help him,” Portelli said.
“There are some nice horses in the race so it won’t be easy but he trialled really well.
“I’d like to get him up to 2000 metres and we’ll enter him for the Wagga Cup next Friday.”
A $50,000 yearling, Testashadow has earned more than $1.2 million for his syndicate of owners.
More than $600,000 of that came in January when he prevailed in a three-way photo-finish to the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast.
He was ridden by Deanne Panya who was injured just two weeks later on January 28 when she came off another Portelli-trained horse, two-year-old Sebring Express in the Widden Stakes.
Panya returned to riding earlier this month and won on the Portelli-trained Moccasin Miss at Wyong on Thursday.
She was also aboard for Testashadow’s 1200m-barrier trial win last week with the gelding saving his best form for female riders.
Panya has won on him twice while Sam Clenton, who is sidelined with injury, boasts three wins on Testashadow with Tim Clark the only other winning rider.
Portelli and Panya will also join forces with Straturbo in Saturday’s $125,000 Gold Rush (1100m) at the Hawkesbury meeting.
Like Testashadow, Straturbo sports the white and blue colours of Elite Thoroughbreds.
His past two starts have been in Brisbane with his most recent producing a second to classy mare Tumbler.
“Straturbo’s best form has been in Melbourne or Brisbane but we’re having a throw at the stumps at home,” Portelli said.
“He’s fully fit and he gets a firm track which helps him.”