Capital Reign faces distance test at Randwick

A distance query is Gary Portelli’s only reservation ahead of the return of speedy three-year-old Capital Reign at Randwick.

The gelding has been superbly placed to win four of his six starts, leading throughout in each of his victories, but he is yet to win beyond 1007 metres.

He resumes over 1100 metres in Saturday’s Petaluma Handicap and while Portelli is mindful it might prove a stretch, he is content with the horse’s fitness levels and build up.

“He just jumps and runs and he makes his own luck,” Portelli said.

“He is a really fast horse and I’m looking forward to seeing how he lines up against these horses. There are a couple of nice horses there who have been winning as well.

“The only question mark is the 1100 metres, but he’s had a nice trial and he has had plenty of work.”

Capital Reign progressed through the grades last campaign, culminating in a win over older horses in the Hurricane Handicap (900m) at Newcastle’s feature Gold Cup meeting.

He was spelled after finishing third to Fox Fighter in a Midway Handicap in October and looked sharp taking out a recent barrier trial by more than seven lengths.

Portelli is hoping he can show up on Saturday and earn himself a shot at the 55 second challenge at Moonee Valley, an initiative comprised of a series of 955m races with the fastest horse winning a cash bonus for its trainer.

He will also saddle up in-form mare Arctic Thunder in Saturday’s City Tattersalls Group Handicap (1600m).

After posting a stunning Midway Handicap win first-up, she raced flat at her next outing before bouncing back with a strong last-start victory at Rosehill.

Portelli said Arctic Thunder had continued to thrive and would appreciate any give in the ground.

He also confirmed Magic Millions Classic third placegetter Snitcat had been sent for a spell and would return for the better fillies’ races in the spring.

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