Patron Black to make debut for Portelli

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January 18, 2018 - 05:18 PM

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Named for an expensive blend of of tequila and coffee, in horse terms Patron Black came pretty cheap.

The colt cost $40,000 and is by Patronize who stands in Western Australia and is not so well known in the eastern states.

But trainer Gary Portelli thinks his profile may be boosted when Patron Black makes his debut in the 2YO Plate (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday.

"He is a very nice colt by a Patronize who is a three-quarter brother to Exceed And Excel," Portelli said.

"He is not so well known over here but this colt seems to have a lot of ability.

"He is out of a mare named Red Belly Black and named for a tequila. We picked him up for $40,000 and so far he's shown a bit.

"He's only had one trial which he won and he is very, very fit."

Patron Black will be ridden by leading Sydney apprentice Rachel King with Winona Costin to ride stablemate Dio D'Oro, also a winner of his only trial.

"Dio D'Oro looks to me like he will be better as a three-year-old but he trialled nicely at Warwick Farm so we will see what he can do," Portelli said.

The Kris Lees-trained Ruling Symbol heads the market from the Hawkes Racing-trained Estijaab as things start to get serious heading to the Golden Slipper in March.

While Portelli is making a name as a trainer of two-year-olds following his Golden Slipper success with She Will Reign last year, he still has his stable stalwarts such as Straturbo who runs in the Summer Sprint (1000m).

The speedster was also an acceptor in a race at Doomben but connections have decided to stay closer to home.

"He'll stay in Sydney and we'll see how he goes," Portelli said.

Straturbo is one of the longest-priced horses in the Summer Sprint with the Jason Coyle-trained Memes dominating the market.

She will be ridden by King who won five races on her last autumn and winter.

Coyle is hoping to get Memes to black-type fillies and mares races such as the Breeders' Classic in the next couple of months.