Youngster Time To Reign has further fuelled his connections’ Golden Slipper 2019 hopes with his win at Rosehill while old-timer Red Excitement has shown he is not finished yet.
A half brother to the Gary Portelli-trained 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, Time To Reign is also prepared by the Warwick Farm trainer but cost considerably more than his sibling who Darby Racing picked up for $20,000.
The colt went to Saturday’s 1100m-handicap for two-year-olds at the $1.85 favourite on the back of his debut win at Randwick two weeks earlier.
As he did at Randwick, Time To Reign led from the outset and held off his challengers despite showing he is still learning his craft.
“He was out there by himself and looking at everything,” Portelli said.
“He saw the second horse looming and did enough to get the job done.
“He will have to improve to win the Golden Slipper but he’s going the right way.
“If he’s good enough he’ll get in.”
Red Excitement is nearing the end of his racing career but showed he still had something to give with his win in the 1900 metre handicap.
“I was looking at videos of Pierro the other day in the (2011) Breeders’ Plate when Red Excitement ran sixth behind him,” Ryan said.
“He’s still going as a nine-year-old and he’s probably racing some of Pierro’s sons and daughters.
“He is an old marvel and has come up at the right time of year and we’ll get him ready for the Gosford Cup again.”
Josh Parr, rode Red Excitement to beat Mask Of Time by a short neck, was also aboard when the gelding gave racegoers a scare when he cleared out in the 2017 Chelmsford Stakes before Winx gathered him up to win by a length.
“I got a lot of joy from that win,” he said.
“He is a war horse who has been around the block.”