Sky Diamonds is regarded as metropolitan class by Portelli, certainly on what she showed him on the track in the early hours of the morning.
Robbie Dolan rides the filly and Portelli said the section of her last-start win that impressed him most was the way she flattened out when asked to sprint.
“I just like the way she went about things, she got down low and accelerated,’’ he said. “That’s something I hadn’t seen on race day; we see it at trackwork a lot. She’s progressive and just a really nice filly.’’
Stablemate Test Of War is also chasing back-to-back Hawkesbury wins in the Blakes Marine Handicap (1500m), though Portelli will likely have his eyes closed over the last 50m if he’s in front.
The gelding led all the way to win over the same course on October 24 and, with the claim for Tom Sherry, he will carry 1kg less.
“He loves that track. He’s a front-running type of horse. He’ll be up there and he will get every chance,’’ Portelli said. “If it was 1490m, I’d be more confident, but he’s fit and looks enormous. He seems to have come on since the run.’’
Meanwhile, in the feature listed $150,000 Lander Toyota Ladies’ Day Cup (1600m), the Portelli stable’s warhorse Testashadow has his first start at Hawkesbury since placing in the 2017 Hawkesbury Cup.