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Not even trainer Gary Portelli thought She Will Reign had got up to win Friday night's Group I Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley with the star filly turning in a scintillating performance which catapulted her to equal favouritism for The Everest.
Ridden along past halfway by Kerrin McEvoy, She Will Reign ($4.40) came wide and avoided traffic to get up and grab Viddora ($31) on the line to score by a short half head with Sheidel ($9) three-quarters of a length away third.
Surrounded by cheering owners, Portelli admitted he thought She Will Reign had not got there.
"I didn't think we'd won," Portelli said. "From where I was standing I thought she'd got beat.
"When she was getting scrubbed along at halfway I was just thinking 'save something for The Everest' but then she kicked in with that extra gear we know she has and that was it."
She Will Reign was racing for the first time since winning the Golden Slipper Stakes and Portelli said the daughter of Manhattan Rain will now go straight to The Everest at Randwick on October 14.
"That's pretty good, the question mark was there about tonight for sure, I told the guys to be prepared, this is first grade tonight and will be a bit more difficult than usual," Portelli said.
"To be honest, I didn't know where she stood in the pecking order but she's proved it tonight, that was an amazing run. She did the job
"The Everest is going to be a lovely race in two weeks time - I underestimated her myself."
Viddora looked the unlucky runner, trapped back along the inside and last around the turn, only getting clear late.
A downcast Joe Bowditch was inconsolable.
"That's the biggest disappointment I've had in racing," Bowditch said. "We knew we had to ride for luck and we just got none - I still thought I'd won."
Russian Revolution started $3 favourite but, after racing in second place to the home turn weakened to beat just one home, after working too hard in the run according to Hugh Bowman.
Following her sensational performance Sportsbet elevated She Will Reign to $5 equal favourite with Chautauqua for The Everest.
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