Jonathan Portman: “We’re lucky to have her”
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By James Burn 5:05PM 14 JUL 2016
LAMBOURN trainer Jonathan Portman will attempt to scoop the biggest pot of his career in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury on Saturday and hopes Mrs Danvers can handle quicker ground and hotter competition than she has had on her first two starts.
Those outings have resulted in fluent wins at Lingfield and Windsor and the £250,000 contest, with £122,925 going to winning connections, will be her toughest test.
Grounds for concern?
“We are very happy with the progress Mrs Danvers has made. She has not had to have too hard a race on both her two starts,” said Portman, whose CV includes Group 3 wins in the Cornwallis and Oaks Tree Stakes.
“Her two wins came on soft ground, which she was very happy on but she won’t get it on Saturday. I don’t think she will have as much of an advantage on faster ground but I do think she will handle it okay. It is just it may suit other horses better.
“She is very well in herself and is an improving filly, we hope. She is still maturing and growing up. I am not sure she has beaten a great deal yet, so has a bit to prove but we have always seen her as a nice filly.”
‘More on her plate’
Mrs Danvers, a daughter of Hellvelyn who will be ridden by Luke Morris, will face 24 rivals in the Super Sprint, which is restricted to horses sold or bought at public auction for £50,500 or less.
Portman added: “She has a lot more on her plate and we are just looking forward to seeing how she copes with a bit more pressure. We don’t think she is a certainty by any means and has her work cut out but hopefully she can be competitive off eight stone.
“She is a very straightforward filly and we are lucky to have her.”
The going at Newbury, which also races on Friday, was described on Thursday as good to firm after officials watered (8mm) on Wednesday.