In a near-repeat of last Saturday’s Todman S. G2, 2YO sons of Not A Single Doubt and Snitzel fought out an enthralling battle for the $175,000 ATC Pago Pago S.1200m G3 at Rosehill.
The main differences were improved weather and track conditions at Rosehill, and the final chance for a spot in next Saturday’s $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper G1.
The late scratchings of Not A Single Doubt’s ebullient son Condor Heroes and Albumin robbed the race of some interest, but not quality as Single Bullet and Ducimus levelled up in the final 300 metres. Both colts responded generously under pressure, and Single Bullet found just a little more, prevailing by a short neck in his maiden victory, with Coruscate 1.25 lengths back in thrd.
Single Bullet strengthens trainer Gary Portelli’s hand in the Golden Slipper, by joining stablemate and race favourite She Will Reign in the field.
Portelli said, “I’m not saying he’ll win it, but we’re in it and that’s half the battle. I think the filly (She Will Reign) is still superior but he’s honest and things can go wrong in the Slipper so I’ve got a plan B.”
Single Bullet was bred by George Altomonte’s Corumbene Stud and sold to Portelli Racing for $150,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions National Sale. The colt’s dam Cheetara, an unraced daughter of More Than Ready and top-class filly Dashing Eagle, returned to Not A Single Doubt’s court last Spring and is due to foal in September.
Ducimus (ex Beauty World by Danehill Dancer) was bred by Oakland Park Stud, and offered by Blue Gum Farm at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where owner Litte Hung and agent Justin Bahen paid the sale-topping top price of $700,000 for him. Already winner of the VRC Talindert S. LR on 18 February, he will also take his place in the Golden Slipper field for Mr Hung and the Hawkes stable.
Single Bullet is Not A Single Doubt’s first winner of the Pago Pago Stakes, previously won by Snitzel’s sons Salade (2011) and Time For War (2014), and the Redoute’s Choice colts Stratum (2005) and Tickets (2009).
After Single Bullet and 3YO Final Salute, successful in Perth several hours later, Not A Single Doubt’s career tally of stakeswinners stands at 39, with nine of them successful this season. His four yearlings in the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale include Arrowfield’s Lot 298, a colt from Quiet Maggy, a half-sister to Champion US colt Afleet Alex.