When Michael Tobin came across a filly he thought was ‘much cheaper than it should’ve been’, he was immediately keen to get involved.
The Gwynneville resident had spent close to three years waiting patiently for an opportunity to buy another racehorse and knew the time was right shortly after seeing a photo of this daughter of Manhattan Rain. A further review of her breeding only strengthened Tobin’s high opinion, so when Darby Racing syndicated the filly he swiftly snapped up a 5% ($2500) share. It was a figure he felt was a bargain.
"I was prepared to spend twice what I did but I just really like this horse," the 66-year-old retiree says.
The filly became known as She Will Reign. However, it wouldn’t be until months later that Tobin would find out just how much of a bargain he’d received.
After showing promise at trackwork for new trainer Gary Portelli, She Will Reign bolted in on debut at Kembla Grange by a widening margin of more than eight lengths. It was then that Tobin knew he had his hands on something special.
She Will Reign, a $20,000 yearling purchase, went on to make it back-to-back victories in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery before resuming with a win in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) to book her spot in the Group 1 Longines Golden Slipper.
On Saturday, the filly will run as a $6 third-favourite with the TAB in the $3.5 million feature for two-year-olds. For Tobin, it completes a once in a lifetime journey.
"I have only owned four horses in my lifetime but she’s the one you dream of owning,” he said.
"The amazing thing is it has energised my whole family. My circle of friends, my youngest son is married to a girl from out at Wagga, they live down there and they all come up to the big races and will be [on Saturday]. Everybody you know is just so happy for you to have a good horse. It is the most unbelievable thing. It is so surreal."
She Will Reign was a beaten favourite at her last start on a heavy track when running second in the Reisling Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago, but Tobin remains confident his filly can fire on a rain-affected surface when it matters most this weekend.
"She’s proven she can win on the heavy and she has won on slow so it is not that she doesn't handle it. It will come down to getting a bit of luck in the run and getting in the fast lane,” he said.