Kintyre On Notice As Portelli Mulls Over Autumn Program

Trainer Gary Portelli has put a top three requirement on Kintyre at Rosehill on Saturday if he’s to back up in next week’s Rosehill Guineas and have any chance of emulating his sister by notching a Group 1 on Golden Slipper Day.

Trainer Gary Portelli (Pic: Steve Hart)

The three-year-old, younger half-brother to 2022 Slipper winner Fireburn, has proven competitive against some of the best of his age but come up a little short.

So Portelli sees the Group 2 $300,000 Chandon Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) as an opportunity for Kintyre to show the trainer where he stands and whether a Group win is within reach.

He did split Tom Kitten and Encap in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) back in the spring, ran fourth in the Gloaming and third in the Spring Stakes at the same level.

“I think we’re going to know more about which way we go based on what we see,’’ Portelli said.

“If he ran really well he could back up in the Guineas the following Saturday, or he could be a Frank Packer Plate horse.

“It’s a bit of a fork in the road for us, it’s not the deepest race in the world. He’s raced against better opposition and been competitive so if we’re going to step up to the Guineas you’d be wanting to run top two or three.”

Kintyre, $11 with TAB on Thursday, told Portelli he could be in for a strong autumn preparation with a slashing third behind Gently Rolled at Rosehill three weeks ago.

He was the only horse to break 34 seconds, running 33.72 (Punter’s Intelligence), for the last 600m after giving away an impossible start.

“I think his run first-up was good because I know how well he can run second-up,’’ Portelli said.

“We drew a bad gate and he rattled home in very fast sectionals. He has form around Tom Kitten and Encap and he should be a huge chance.

“What he doesn’t do is catch the eye. He’s a workman and puts himself in a position.

“He doesn’t have to be ridden back, he’s an on pace horse and will be up there somewhere.”

Plan B for Kintyre is, in Portelli’s words, to “win as much prizemoney as we can with BOBS before he goes to his four-year-old season”.

Nothing happened to favour Portelli’s classy filly Kimochi in the Surround Stakes last month so he’s hoping for better fortune in the Group 1 $1 million Coolmore Classic (1500m).

The dual Group 1 placed filly missed a top three finish for the first time in her career in that Group 1 after all of Portelli’s plans went out the window when she was checked at the start and wound up near tail in a slowly run race.

It also didn’t help that she raced with the tongue over the bit.

“She got a little squeeze at the gates, we were hoping to be up on the pace,’’ he said.

“I wanted to test Gai’s horses early and get a spot, make them run, because I thought they wouldn’t go quick.”

Portelli said with 50.5kg he’d like to see Kimochi is a stalking position around midfield.

“We’ve got a big field that hopefully spreads out and we can get three deep with cover, that’d be perfect,’’ he said.

“If we get a shower coming down the middle of the track might be the place to be.”

Russian Revolution filly Itszarbaby makes her debut in the Group 3 $250,000 Cincotta Chemist Magic Night Stakes (1200m) and Portelli says it’s something of a throw at the stumps.

He did point out, though, that there was more merit in her latest trial than it appears given to a freak occurrence during the race.

“She shifted a shoe and trod on her toe clip so she was feeling her foot all the way down the straight, that’s why she was zig-zagging,’’ he said.

“She’s a nice filly, I was hoping the race would come up a bit softer so it’s a look-see for her. We’ll have a crack at it and see how she finishes.”

– Racing NSW

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