Unbeaten filly facing Rosebud test

The Rosebud will be an important spring litmus test for undefeated filly Sky Command

SKY COMMAND. Picture: Steve Hart

One of the hallmarks of a good racehorse is resilience and Sky Command is showing plenty of it ahead of her most serious test in Saturday's The Rosebud at Randwick. 

A daughter of Deep Field, Sky Command has posted dominant wins at her only two starts during the Sydney winter, dictating from the front both times. 

While trainer Gary Portelli is wary of the fact both performances have been on heavy tracks, he has seen enough to convince him to raise the bar to stakes grade, describing Sky Command as a tough filly. 

"They've got to be tough. Some of the best mares have been those horses who have resilience, and they don't go sore and they don't miss a feed and she's like that, so hopefully we see something on the weekend," Portelli said. 

"I'm just concerned coming off heavy tracks, are we just seeing a wet tracker who went well through the winter coming into the spring against the big dogs now? They are questions that have to be answered. 

"She's shown enough in trackwork to suggest she should have a crack. In the back of our minds, we're thinking possibly a Golden Rose, but we've got a long way to go from here." 

Sky Command will face nine rivals on Saturday, including Godolphin's Paulele and Hawkes Racing's talented colt Remarque, who both boast handy autumn carnival form lines. 

Paulele won the Kindergarten Stakes while Remarque was considered a Golden Slipper candidate before a setback hindered his preparation. 

But with the races set to get even stronger in the coming weeks, Portelli says Sky Command has to measure up on Saturday if she is to continue into the spring. 

"All the big guns will be back soon, including the Slipper winner (Stay Inside)," he said. 

"This is probably not the A-team on the weekend so if we're going to be competitive against the better horses, she'd want to run well on the weekend because it's only going to get tougher from here." 

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