After watching his Victoria Derby hopes smashed against the side of a barrier at Hawkesbury, trainer Gary Portelli is keeping his fingers crossed for his other carnival contenders.
Cash Strapped broke his jaw when he played up in the gates on Thursday, an injury which, although not as serious as it sounds, has certainly interrupted the gelding’s preparation.
Portelli also realises Sebring Sun has a seemingly daunting task in Saturday’s $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill but is not dismissing an upset.
Before the Group One feature, the trainer will supervise race day gallops by stable star Rebel Dane and up-and-comer Seeking Asylum.
“I was devastated when Cash Strapped hurt himself on Thursday,” Portelli said.
“I was confident he could win. We nominated him for the big races and really thought we might have a runner in the Victoria Derby.
“His jaw is wired up and he is eating soft food but I don’t think he will get to the Derby now.”
Sebring Sun is a $14 chance in the Golden Rose with Exosphere ($3), Press Statement ($3.60) and Speak Fondly ($4.20) dominating the market.
Portelli believes Sebring Sun deserves his place in the Golden Rose field with his main concern the 1400m.
But he will rely on the skill of champion jockey Jim Cassidy to coax the colt over the distance.
“He needs to have a soft run to get the 1400 metres and Jimmy should be able to get him in the right position,” Portelli said.
“The field has fallen away from a few weeks ago when we thought Vancouver and Pride Of Dubai would be there.
“I think he’s right at this level and there’s no benefit in not running.
“If he doesn’t run out the 1400 metres then we will find out. The Coolmore Stud Stakes down the straight at Flemington would then be a race we would look at.”
Rebel Dane is the established star of the stable but hasn’t won a race since the Group One Rupert Clarke two years ago.
“He has had a tie-back operation and went well in a barrier trial,” Portelli said.
“The plan is to run him in The Shorts a week from Saturday and take it one step at a time.
“I thought I would give Seeking Asylum a day out to get used to the atmosphere of a big day.
“There is a Group Two fillies race at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day we hope to get her to.”