Fireburn lights up the Golden Slipper

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Gary Portelli has bought up his second win in the Golden Slipper, as Fireburn proved far too strong for her rivals in the $5 million two-year-old classic race.

The filly by Rebel Dane made it four wins in a row with a dominant display in the Rosehill Gardens feature, defeating Best Of Bordeaux and race favourite Coolangatta by two and a half lengths.

Ridden by Brenton Avdulla, the filly was under hard riding on the bend, but she saved all of the ground in the world along the fence to win the 1200m in She Will Reign-esque fashion – the filly that gave Portelli his first win in the rich two-year-old race.

From the inside alley, Fireburn went around just one horse, as she burst through in the concluding stages of the race to win dominantly.

“It’s the greatest sport,” Portelli said.

“It’s the highs and lows, you’ve got to put up with the lows and hope the highs come back and here he has come back from a serious injury and won two Group Ones in a month, so it just goes to show, don’t give up.

“I can’t put much above it (winning a Golden Slipper), that’s for sure.”

Avdulla, who has only just returned to the saddle, described the win as an emotional victory.

“I said to the Mrs I wouldn’t cry after the first week but it’s very special obviously,” he said.

“It’s hard to get rides any time of the year but when you’re off a setback and trying to get the weight under control.

“Gary gave me plenty of faith with his support all my career and him and his connections put me on her. She gave me a great feel Tuesday.

“To come out and win a Slipper again, I thought it was going to be hard to get one but now I’ve got two in three years.”

Despite a terrific steer by James McDonald, the well-backed favourite Coolangatta felt the pinch late, finishing 2.85 lengths away in third.

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