Gary Portelli has put Time To Reign’s recent defeat down as a learning experience for both horse and trainer.
The winner of his first two starts in the spring, Time To Reign went into the Listed Lonhro Plate at Warwick Farm last Saturday week as the $1.60 favourite.
After leading to win his two races, Time To Reign travelled just behind the pace and made it hard for himself and Portelli, eventually finishing fourth behind Bivouac.
On Saturday he goes to Rosehill for the Group Two Silver Slipper (1100m) and a clash with Golden Slipper favourite Tassort.
And if he wants to lead, Portelli will tell Jason Collett to let him.
“If he jumps well then he can go forward and lead and see what he can do,” Portelli said.
“The Lonhro was a messy race. I knew halfway through he wasn’t going to win.
“He’d been taught to lead and that’s what he thought he was supposed to do but he couldn’t.
“He still doesn’t know what it’s all about but he will be going to the race fit and well.
“Tassort is obviously the benchmark.”
Time To Reign is a half brother to She Will Reign who Portelli trained to win the 2017 Golden Slipper.
She Will Reign won four of her five starts as a two-year-old including the Silver Slipper.
“They are like chalk and cheese,” Portelli said.
“She was like a four-year-old as a two-year-old.
“But Time To Reign is improving and my job is to get him to the Golden Slipper in the best shape.”
The Nick Mitchell-trained Foolin Around was added to the seven original Silver Slipper entries on Tuesday when nominations were extended.
Godolphin’s Tassort is the $1.60 favourite in early markets ahead of the final acceptances on Wednesday with Time To Reign an $8 chance.
The $3.5 million Golden Slipper is at Rosehill on March 23.
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