Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 7 Nov 2021



Sunday Territorian 7 Nov 2021


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2021 SPORT 43 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA GARY Portelli, a master trainer of two-year-olds, has designs on a second Golden Slipper after Sejardans outstanding win at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Sejardan maintained the perfect start to his race career when he came from near last on the turn to score a spectacular win in the $1 million Golden Gift (1100m). Portelli knows what it takes to win the Golden Slipper having prepared She Will Reign to take out the worlds richest juvenile race in 2017 and he has a growing belief that Sejardan is made of the right stuff, too. He had to do what he did today to prove to me hes the real deal, Portelli said. This was a strong race and the backmarkers werent really playing today. Hes just done everything you want to see from a young horse. He has this beautiful, big action, he can accelerate quite easily and he has this massive finish. And he wants to win its not something you can teach him, they have to want to do it and he has this fierce determination to win. I know there are going to be better horses coming through, weve only seen a small group of two-year-olds to this point, but hell improve as much as anyone. I think we saw a winner. Sejardan ($5.50), ridden by Jason Collett, unleashed a tremendous surge wide out to win the Golden Gift in an exciting finish by a half neck from Shalatin ($4.40) with Ojai ($4.80) a long neck away third. Portelli admitted the heartstopping finish is not something he would want to endure too often. That was scary to watch, Portelli said. I know Jason said before the race he was hoping to get a position but I dont think you can on this bloke. Youve just got to ride him cold. Portelli eyes Slipper after Sejardan bags Gift Jockey Jason Collett and Sejardan after their victory. RAY THOMAS TOUGH STAYER SENDS OUT WARNING FOR MILLIONS EVERGREEN stayer Warning is likely to head to Queenslands Magic Millions carnival in January after a tough frontrunning display to take out the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington. The 2019 Victoria Derby winner who was a bargain buy at the Adelaide Magic Millions for only $65,000 has now amassed more than $2.2m in prizemoney after contesting so many of the key distance races of the Australian turf calendar across the past few racing seasons. Having originally been bought as a horse the stable might ultimately trade on to Hong Kong, Warning has been an owners dream, having won five of his 25 starts with the Queen Elizabeth win on Saturday following his victory in the St Leger at Randwick earlier this month. Hes been a terrific horse for the stable, co-trainer Sam Freedman said of the fiveyear-old son of Declaration Of War. (Hes) a real stable favourite. Nash (Rawiller) really gets on with him, gets him out of the gates. Nash Rawiller and Warning. Royal campaign looms as freak of Nature romps in ZAAKI AND J-MAC WOW IN CLASSY TRIUMPH CLASS is a hallmark of Group 1 racing, and the Mackinnon Stakes had an abundance of it. Zaaki was too classy for his opposition. James McDonald was at his classy best when giving his rivals no chance of catching Zaaki with a polished front-running ride. Brett Prebble was also all class as he embraced McDonald after the latter eclipsed his 21-year-old record for the most winners during the four-day Melbourne Cup carnival. It was awesome, the winning rider said. Just past the post he yelled out, son, son, come here. That was really special to share. And do not forget trainer Annabel Neashams classy philosophical response to her disappointment when Zaaki was scratched from the Cox Plate on the morning of the biggest race of the imports career. McDonald had an easy time of things when winning the Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic on Nature Strip two races earlier and had little trouble getting Zaaki home to complete the Group 1 double in the Mackinnon Stakes. It was not as easy as the ride he enjoyed on potential star Espiona on Thursday. But it was a different type of race. McDonald dictated the pace of the Mackinnon Stakes to the 600m before Zaaki let down impressively in the straight, dashing well clear at the famous Flemington clock tower before Prebbles mount Cascadian got within 1 lengths at the finish. When you see hes happy he just cruises along and does his thing, he said. I love riding this horse because you just ride him on feel and you just hope hes got the best with him. Neasham said she had a few worries about the imports fitness given he had not raced since his surprise Might And Power defeat at Caulfield on October 9. I was so nervous beforehand, she said. He obviously hadnt run for a month, but it was a beautiful ride by James, who can do no wrong at the moment. I knew at the top of the straight that he had such a lapful of horse that I knew it would take a good one to run him down. Neasham also prepared the third placegetter Mounga. Mounga tried hard but was no match for his older stablemate but she said the stallion would have chances for more Group 1 glory in the autumn. Hes not in the shadow (of Zaaki), Neasham said. I cant wait for the autumn with both of those horses. SPEED machine Nature Strip might finally have the chance to take his freakish talent abroad next year potentially to Royal Ascot after adding a second Darley Classic to his bulging big race CV. Only three weeks after winning The Everest, the sevenyear-old chestnut took fewer than 69 seconds to show how tough he is when coasting away to Darley success. James McDonald was told to ride him like it was a track gallop, and with Chris Waller down in Melbourne for the day and with his Melbourne-based owners finally able to see their horse run again, Nature Strip ($1.28F) cantered away to a 3-length victory from Swats That ($31), with Bella Nipotina ($14) filling out the placing. Nature Strip will head for a well-deserved rest now, but Waller and senior part-owner Rod Lyons suggested a trip to Royal Ascot was absolutely on the agenda for next year. Asked about the plans for 2022, the trainer said: We will just go through the basics, give him a holiday, which is what he deserves, and find some nice races. Maybe (we might go) overseas if the owners are keen. We have planned it twice but Covid has put a stop to it, as Covid has put a stop to a lot of things. Speaking pre-race on RSN, Lyons said the plan was absolutely to head to Royal Ascot next year if the horse came back in good form and if Waller was keen for it to happen. Fingers crossed . . . it is over to Chris, he has got to come back in the early part of the autumn, but if he shows that form that warranted a trip to Royal Ascot, well be going, he said. Nature Strip coasted down the Flemington straight with McDonald looking after him late. In doing so he took his career prizemoney to more than $16m third overall in Australasian history behind champion mare Winx ($26,451,174) and dual Everest winner Redzel ($16,444,000). Almost $8m of Nature Strips prizemoney has come in his past two starts. James McDonald and Nature Strip charge to victory in the Darley at Flemington. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images BRAD WATERS GLENN MCFARLANE James McDonald and runner-up Brett Prebble embrace.

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