She Will Reign scoops Golden SlipperPhotos

She Will Reign scoops Golden Slipper | Photos Ben Melham riding She Will Reign celebrates winning Race 7 in the Longines Golden Slipper.
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Ben Melham, riding She Will Reign, celebrates after winning Race 7, Longines Golden Slipper.

Ben Melham, riding She Will Reign, celebrates with his partner Karlie Dales after winning Race 7.

Ben Melham, riding She Will Reign, celebrates with his partner Karlie Dales and the winning connections after winning Race 7, Longines Golden Slipper.

Scott Darby and the winning connections lift the Golden Slipper after She Will Reign wins Race 7, Longines Golden Slipper.

Hugh Bowman, riding Winx, celebrates after winning Race 5.

Hugh Bowman, riding Winx, celebrates after winning Race 5.

Connections of the winning Golden Slipper horse She Will Reign celebrate at Rosehill Gardens.

Connections of Group 1 China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes winner Winx on Golden Slipper Day.

Connections of the winning Golden Slipper horse She Will Reign celebrate.

Spectators watch the start of Race 7 in the Longines Golden Slipper.

Hugh Bowman, riding Winx, celebrates with the winning connection after winning Race 5, China Horse Club George Ryder during 2017 Golden Slipper Day.

Connections to the winning horse of the Golden Slipper, She Will Reign, celebrate trackside.

Connections to the winning horse of the Golden Slipper, She Will Reign, celebrate trackside.

Kerrin McEvoy riding Russian Revolution (#12) celebrates winning Race 8 in the Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs Galaxy.

Kerrin McEvoy riding Russian Revolution wins Race 8 in the Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs Galaxy.

Hugh Bowman riding Winx wins Race 5 in the China Horse Club George Ryder.

Opie Bosson, riding Gingernuts, wins Race 6.

Opie Bosson, riding Gingernuts, wins Race 6.

Ben Melham, riding She Will Reign, celebrates winning Race 7 in the Longines Golden Slipper.

A woman wearing a fascinator veil during Golden Slipper Day.

A woman wearing a fascinator veil during Golden Slipper Day.

Elizabeth Debicki speaks during Golden Slipper Day.

Paulini sings the National Anthem during Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens.

Elizabeth Debicki presents the Golden Slipper trophy during Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens.

TweetFacebook Trackside at Golden Slipper DayHighlights of the 2017 Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens on March 18, in Sydney. Photos: Getty ImagesJockey Ben Melhambelieved he had a Golden Slipperwinner from the first time he rodeShe Will Reign.

Syndicator Scott Darby believed in She Will Reignafter her first win at Kembla.

It took trainer Gary Portelliuntil some time in the straight at Rosehill on Saturday to know his dream was coming true.

As his flying filly dashed clear Portellijust shook his head as he had waited 27 years for this result.

“I remember watching her win her first start in Hong Kong when I was there with Rebel Dane and I thought you’re a handy filly. We are going to have fun,” Portelli said. “I wasn’t thinking Golden Slipper, Benny was.

“He came back after that first barrier trial and said to me don’t book anyone else for her.”

This was a win for the battlers, the mum-and-dad owners of a $20,000 filly, and it capped the career of her trainer.

For Melham, whohad backed the filly from that first day, the Golden Slipper win confirmed She Will Reign as the best horse he has ridden only behind Black Caviar. His memories were clear of that first day.

“I told the boys that she was mine, I knew she was this good,” Melham said. “I come to ride Rebel Dane before Hong Kong and Gary put me on a couple of others and this was the gold.

“I had to get it right today because I went against what Gary wanted to do but I knew that she was that good.”

Darby was at Kembla that day he knew he had something special.

“I thought here we go againdriving home from Kembla,” Darby said. “She has gone one better than Yankee and won – I have won the Golden Slipper.”

Melham and Portelli haven’t always agreed about this filly.

“That was unbelievable. I spoke to the jockey before the race and said to him ‘I think we have got to go forward’. He went quiet and said ‘I think I’m going back to last. I am cutting the corner, I’m on the best horse and I’m going to ride her like I did in the Silver Slipper,” Portelli said.

“I would have got hang up by my balls if I had got beaten because Gary wanted to ride her completely different,” Melham said.

It was daring but brilliant and went justas Melhamdescribed. She Will Reign went across to the fence atback ofthe field and then tracked behind the inside runners and by the turn he was on the back of leader Houtzen, which couldn’t handle the conditions.

“I got up inside and hit the front and she still hadn’t come off the bridle. When I cut the ribbonsit was all over, she is just a very good filly,” Melham said.

Portellihas been one of the good guys of racing and has had his good horses but there have been the tough times.

“I started training back in 1990, have been in the game since 1986. This is the race that defines a trainer I believe,” Portelli said

“This game has taken me a long way. I struggled to get through year ten, I was a battler working a night shift in a bakery but my dream was to become a city trainer.

“I’ve been able to train horses and go to Royal Ascot. This game has taken me a long way. It goes to show to anyone out there who is not sure what they’re doing in life that if you like something and want to do something, stick at it, work hard and days like this might come.”

She Will Reign scored by 2-1/4 lengths from Frolic, which also tracked the fence, while Tulip got third place after a protest was upheld against Menari

The large syndicate or owners crowded in the the mounting yard and as the presentation ended chanted “She Will Reign, She Will Reign”.

She did and will for much longer.